Making Iraq the Issue

The recent attack from Obama that was directed toward Clinton and Edwards over Iraq made me wonder about which of the two, between Obama and Edwards, might be perceived as having more credibility on ending the Iraq War; but it also leads to wonder about where Obama is trying to go with the issue, given his own lack of consistency.

In the run-up to the US invading Iraq, Obama was a candidate whom spoke out against Bush's unilateralism, while at the same time, Edwards voted in favor of giving Bush the authority and he supported of the invasion. So if that's the only measure of having credibility on ending the war, then it's an easy question; but ending the war means cutting off funding of the war, and that's not been something that Obama has been in favor of, until just recently.

In contrast, during 2003, when the question of funding the war became a priority in the US Senate, it was Edwards, ahead of all the other 04 candidates, who was the first to come out against funding of the war in Iraq. Edwards continued to vote against funding until he left the Senate in 2005. Then Obama arrived in the Senate, and for 20 something votes straight, Obama never met an Iraq war-related or funding bill that he would vote against. Obama and Clinton's voting record of supporting funding of the War since then is identical.

Obama wants to make a preemptive differentiation that only he is prepared to be the Democratic nominee based on his original opposition to invading Iraq. It's as if Obama is trying to become the Dean of '08 in attracting those of us who were against this war from the beginning. But the comparison of Obama to Dean ends in 2003. Dean never supported funding of the war, Obama continually did until the most recent vote.

And why did Obama all of a sudden change his position on funding the war in Iraq?  He said something vague about not wanting to give Bush a blank check, but given his abrupt 180-degree change in position, a more detailed response seems necessary. The free pass given by the media to both Clinton and Obama over that vote was amazing. Particularly when you consider that Obama, just weeks prior to the vote, made the outlandish claim that the vast majority of Democrats supported funding of the war, and voiced the Republican frame that to not fund the war was to deny material support of the troops.

I applaud the change made by Obama. It's the direction those of us who want this war ended want every Democratic politician to take, in an effort to end the war in Iraq. But the notion that Obama has some sort of special appeal over the issue of Iraq, to those of us who are actually paying attention, seems full of folly.

If Obama thinks he's going to move primary and caucus voters toward him by making a vote that happened 5 years earlier, given his strident support of funding the war, he's wrong.  If Obama thinks he can make an issue out of Edwards changing his initial support of the war to leading the turn against it, he's wrong. And if Obama thinks he can make a principled stance of his from 5 years ago a central issue, while in the meantime he made the political calculation of flipping from being a vocal funder of the war to a quiet non-funder of the war, he's deluded.

There's very little for Obama to gain by trying to make this attempt at a preemptive differentiation between him and the other candidates, especially Edwards, because for anyone whom pegs that single vote in 2002 as the black-and-white issue for whom they will support for the 2008 nomination, that voter would want a much more anti-war candidate than Obama has been over the past 2 years. They have Kucinich.

There's more for Obama to lose-- and not only because of his lack of anti-war consistency. The contrived devision raises doubt and cycnacism about his message of hope and change. How does this turn to the past by Obama jive with his claim about wanting to turn the page? What's the story in wanting to stake out a candidacy on being the "forward" and "future" voice while making the central issue for his candidacy a vote that happened 4 years ago?

Where does Obama really stand on ending the war in Iraq now?  Obama stands right alongside about 95% of the Democrats in office that are ready to end the war. I know there are demarcations that different supporters point out about the details of their candidates position, but the Iraq war has become a full-fledged partisan issue for 2008, and no matter whom our presidential candidate is going to be, they will be for ending the war in Iraq.

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards (all tags)

Comments

305 Comments

Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Another hit diary on Obama by Jerome.

I wish you would take a look at Hillary and her flip flops on Iraq. Especially her vote on the AUF and her support against a time table as of June 2006.

Why should some one believe she would get us out of IRAQ based upon her record?

by BDM 2007-07-13 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

obama is a fraud

by lara 2007-07-13 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

He voted for the war repeatedly and then due to political calculation then voted against the war funding bill

by lara 2007-07-13 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

he is a panderer who supported Joe liberman and also endorsed John Kerry in 04 who voted for the war,now he is telling us it was a bad vote and will show what they will do going to the future.So why did he endorse John Kerry.He has no principles .

by lara 2007-07-13 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Was he supposed to endorse Bush? Every new Senator in Congress gets set up with a mentor, Obama's happened to be Lieberman. Get your facts straight.

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
And you have been revived, from truthteller2007?

are we reading a reincarnation, here?

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: And you have been revived, from truthteller200

why would anyone support obama,this is not american idol.He is not a leader,he voted continuosly for war,he is a war monger and he says all options on the table,that means war with iran.He is not willing to rule out use of nuclear weapons on Iran.he says he wants a residual force in iraq.He is the same as other candidates.  

by lara 2007-07-13 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Who are you? This is not the way to act on the blogs, unless you go over to Huffpo a lot. I'm not supporting Obama for the nomination, but calling him a fraud is way over the line.

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-13 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I don't care for anyone who voted to fund the war continuosly and due to political calculation flipped.

by lara 2007-07-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Again, as opposed to someone who co-sponsored the resolution starting the damn war and then flipped for political calculation?

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

If obama is the candidate,I might vote green or independent.He is a panderer and a politician,deceiving people with his rhetoric.

by lara 2007-07-13 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yes, I'm sure helping the Republicans hold the White House is a much better way to bring the war to an end.  Sheer genius!

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

So your supporting...?  Because by your rationale Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Dodd are all out.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

There is nothing that makes this a hit diary.  It is critical about Obama's positions but it is based on facts.  You have not addressed the basic facts.  You try to limit discussion by disparaging the intent of Jerome.  It is juvenile and the purpose of blogging is to debate and convince.

A lot of Obama supporters make much of his vocal opposition to the war in 2002.  I applaud his stance then.  I very much was angry with those who decided to vote for the AUMF.  However Obama shifted positions.  So did Edwards.  Somehow Obama is given a pass on this by his supporters.  Most of us did not give Edwards a pass on this.  We looked to see if his change in rhetoric and voting was genuine.  I believe it was.  

I would like to know why Obama voted as he did in 2005, 2006, 2007 to support the funding of the war.   Then suddenly changed his vote but did not let us know what changed his mind.

I don't for a moment believe that Obama was pro-war in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and I don't believe that Edwards was pro-war either in 2002 as some detractors keep wanting to paint him.  

I do believe that it was political calculation in Obama's votes.  He has some explaining to do.  Edwards has done it.  Some accept the explaining some don't.  But Obama hasn't given us the opportunity to consider it.  And politics is politics.  Sometimes there is political calculation in a vote, but we have the right to question and see if we agree with that calculation.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:11AM | 0 recs
BS

There are facts but they are the wrong interpretation of facts and you would make this case considering he holds your candidates in high regard.  Everyone, want their candidate to be given respect yet you support every slam on Obama as justified and I will debunk everything Jerome said.

by lovingj 2007-07-13 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: BS

I don't support every slam on Obama and I applaud some things Obama has done recently and have said so in posts.  

This is not a slam.  Unlike your smackdowns of Edwards..

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:52AM | 0 recs
The old pioneer is back.

So be it.

by lovingj 2007-07-13 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The old pioneer is back.

lovingj what are you talking about.  I have even recommended one of your diaries.  What is the old pioneer? I think I am consistent so I have never tried to be a new pioneer, but what is your issue?  

And "so be it" is fine with me, but I don't even get your point.

This personal attack of yours makes no sense.  There is no reason for it.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 10:36AM | 0 recs
The lovingj who was banned

from Daily Kos appears to be back.

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: BS
Loving - previously some Rethugs rejected global warming. Now - they admit the facts indicate there is a crisis - BUT it's only a cyclical pattern...move along,etc. That's how they interpret global warming facts - and PROTECT the corporatists.
Jerome's facts of Obama's votes to fund the war he "opposes" are correct - but your interpretation of those same facts is very different.
by annefrank 2007-07-13 09:58AM | 0 recs
Not a hit diary at all

Let's not forget that Obama, as a partisan candidate in 2003, said he was unequivocably against the $87 billion for funding, and it was time to stop getting steamrolled by Bush.  Then as correctly pointed out, he voted for every funding measure until recently, when he changed his position without the bold proclamation he now makes referring back to 2002.

Remember how we were all in suspense as to what he and Clinton would even do, based upon their prior votes for funding?  Until then, both were against Kerry-Feingold and for Gregg, claiming the latter was an issue of protecting the troops.  Even Feingold claimed vociferously that such a position was a deceit.  The situation in Iraq was not substantially different in 2006 or early 2007, times when Obama was unwilling to shout out and claim the mantle of real opposition to the war that he now wants to occupy.

Edwards, besides voting against funding in 2003, began speaking out publicly in 2005, when he, then John Murtha, made the calls that started this end the war ball rolling in earnest.  That call by Edwards, according to Obama himself days later, during this first real speech about Iraq after 11 months as a senator, when he was not acting as a partisan candidate, was a sign of leadership.  Obama further said that such leadership, illustrated in one's ability to admit a mistake, as when JFK admitted his mistake at the Bay of Pigs, provided credibility.      

No doubt, Edwards was wrong about giving Bush authorization in 2002, like many others were, but he had to make that call.  Obama actually recognized this in November, 2006, speaking about Clinton.  Once more, was not acting as a partisan running for office at the time.  

If Obama thinks his speech in 2002 makes him better qualified to lead, so be it.  However, he is not turning the page forward, but skimming backward.  When I skim back over the totality of the issues that make up a Iraq, then back to the present and look forward, particularly about getting our troops out and ending the war, I am not convinced that this one speech cancels out all other matters.

I therefore take the recent Obama swipe at his opponents with a large grain of salt.

As an aside, but perhaps more important, besides that one speech that Obama supporters trumpet so loudly as a test of judgment, I am left wondering what crisis has Obama faced as an adult where we can see his own decision making under fire?  That speech was no crisis for him.  Where is his test as a leader?  He is a young man who has a great education and charisma, and good public service so far, but has he faced the crucible?  Has he been in the forefront of national politics?  Is there any example of an emergency situation that evidences his decision making or character at the worst of times?  This is not a hit, but a real question that I believe is most important for anyone who wants to be president and hold my life in his or her hands.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a hit diary at all

Your last paragraph applies equally well to Edwards.

by Sam I Am 2007-07-13 08:36AM | 0 recs
Edwards lost his son...

His wife has cancer.  We saw firsthand how he dealt with these life events.

He worked from nothing, with a public school education, to attain what he has.

He was one of the best trial lawyers in America, operating in a highly adversarial setting.

He won a tough race for Senate.  He ran for president.  He was a candidate for vice-president.  

Now what has Obama done or faced in his adult life where he confronts a crisis or adversity and provides a example of his leadership skills?

Harvard Law Review?  Community organizer?

by citizen53 2007-07-13 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards lost his son...

Are you serious?  I'm thinking there's a 20% chance the might be meant ironically or else just really poorly-done flame bait.  The first black president of Harvard Law Review is no small thing, I'd say.  It's a pretty objective measure of someone's ability to achieve and overcome barriers and adversity.  Let alone doing that growing up with out a bunch of money and without a father.  Do you understand how hard it is to get a clerkship with Mikva on the D.C. Circuit?  That it puts you in the top hundredth of one percent of law school graduates in terms of credentials? The guy walked away from absurd sums of money that any big law firm in the country would have gladly paid him to go back to Chicago and work to help poor, black communities.  He wasn't doing it to get rich or famous.  He was doing it for a 35% contingency fee (and for the record, Edwards was never anywhere close to being one of the best trial lawyers in America).  He was doing it because he knew he had to because of the desperation he saw when he was an organizaer.  This was a guy in his late 20s who came of age in the "me" generation. I've read other comments you've made in diaries recently and they were all pretty good.  Did you let some less intelligent person use your account for the day?  

by msbatxnyc 2007-07-13 02:00PM | 0 recs
Harvard Law Review was a real crisis...

for Obama, probably like the adversity he faced while strolling around the 94 acres of his exclusive high school, or the confines of Columbia.  Tough stuff, indeed.

The question was about adversity or a crisis.

I think that how Edwards acted after his son died, choosing to give his life to public service, says a lot.  I also think how he recently handled himself when his wife's cancer returned says a lot, too.

Obama could not even provide a specific answer when asked about his biggest crisis as a public figure, but talked about his time as a legislator, building consensus.

As for Edwards's legal credentials:

In 1990, he was the youngest member inducted into The Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the nation's top 100 trial lawyers.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/feature s/2001/0110.green.html

By 1993, when Mr. Edwards opened his own law firm, multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements had become routine.

''Insurance companies were having seminars about how to deal with John Edwards,'' said Mark J. Prak, a former law partner, in his office overlooking the Wake County Courthouse here, the site of some of Mr. Edwards's most important cases.

His very name had power, Mr. Cooney said. When settlement discussions involving other plaintiff lawyers came to an impasse, they would invoke Mr. Edwards.

'''You either pay me what I want or I'm going to get John Edwards,' they'd say,'' Mr. Cooney recalled. ''They would be using his name for leverage, and I'm sure he never knew it was happening.''

Michael J. Dayton, the editor of The North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, said that reputation was built on more than anecdotes and impressions. ''The numbers speak for themselves,'' Mr. Dayton said. ''He had over 42 multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements and another 33 right near a million.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht ml?res=9C05E7DB163AF937A25754C0A9629C8B6 3

Edwards proved himself in the courtroom.  Obama, on the other hand:

[N]ever took part in a trial. He spent most of his nine-year career working as part of a team, drawing up contracts, briefs and other legal papers.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articl es/2007/02/20/obama_got_start_in_civil_r ights_practice/

Where is the adversity?  Please tell me.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Harvard Law Review was a real crisis...

go read "dreams of my father" you'll find a lot of adversity. I can't believe you're trying to paint JE as the "one" who struggled. clearly you haven't spent time in the south-side of Chicago, else you wont bring up any of this empty rhetoric. Obama has lived what he preaches, he's a humble man who's dedicated his life to the poor and the disenfranchised. he's lived it. he's consistent.

Getting your barber privately flown in to give you a $400 hair cut doesn't bode well for the image of your poverty - peddling candidate.

give it a rest. Obama struggled to get to where he is. look at you trivilizing the HLR. wow!

by rapcetera 2007-07-14 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a hit diary at all

Can you point to a "crucible" moment for Edwards or Clinton or which ever candidate you support?

All of the candidates have strong beliefs and I think they're sincere. I really don't know where you're going/what you're talking about with this one...

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a hit diary at all

Edwards - As a trial lawyer taking on causes of the little guy against all odds and winning. When he started he was an unknown and had no idea of what success would mean.

The death of a son, which made him reflect and decide on shifting focus to public service and run for the senate.  

Then Elizabeth's cancer and the decision to run again but to do it from his heart and passion and not so much based on consultants' advice.  Chose to really champion for the poor and the middle class against corporate elitism and power.

Having voted to give a president great negotiating power and realizing that trust was misplaced and being determined then to speak up against that direction.

Those are profound moments in one's life.  Some people fade, others step forward and make a huge difference to the common good.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a hit diary at all

I like Edwards. I voted for him in the Minnesota caucuses in 2004 because I liked his "Two Americas" stump speech and because I thought he and Kerry would sound great in contrast to Bush and Cheney. And I like his positions on the Iraq war, bankruptcy, felon voting rights, gay rights, the environment, and health care a lot better now than I did in 2004. Initially, before I started reading more about Obama, he was the candidate I was ready to support when Feingold announced he wouldn't be running last winter. I admire his positions and work he's done since he's left the Senate, and would be happy with him as the nominee. I think he has a compelling personal story, and I love his wife.

But I've also never bought into the story that Edwards' career as a trial lawyer represents some sort of personal crusade against the forces of poverty. Maybe its because my mom is a paralegal for Legal Aid, but I've never seen the trial lawyer thing as a big boost to his poverty fighting credentials. There are a lot of better ways to affect change with a legal degree (example: civil rights law, poverty law, Legal Aid, public defender). He may have taken life lessons away from his career, but it certainly doesn't contribute to the "poverty as his life's work" line of thinking. He started out as a corporate lawyer defending banks and businesses. Then he moved into the malpractice business. I'm sorry if I'm missing something, but his legal career just doesn't strike me as being as compelling as it's made out to be.

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a hit diary at all
For what it's worth, George Stephanopolous asked this exact question during a Sunday morning interview, you can watch Obama's answer if you like --- it starts at 2:55. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGpjFh5Iz kc
by psericks 2007-07-13 12:08PM | 0 recs
He gave no answer...

just some politician talk, that he was a legislator and the biggest crisis was to build consensus.  The adversity of it all:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the most difficult crisis you've had to manage in your public life?

OBAMA: Well, you know, the truth is, in my public life as a legislator, most of the difficult tasks have been to build consensus around hard problems.

And what I think the country needs more than anything right now is somebody who has the capacity to identify areas of common interest,
common good, build a consensus around it and get things done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is part of the job. There's no question about it.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know a big part of the job of a president is what you do in a crisis...

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... the crisis you didn't expect.

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you never really ever had to deal with something like that, right?

OBAMA: Well, what I think is absolutely legitimate is that my political career has been on the legislative side and not in the executive branch.

Now, that's true for a lot of my colleagues, you know, who aren't governors.

And one of the things that I hope over the course of this campaign I show, is the capacity to manage this pretty unwieldy process of a political race. And one of the great things about the press is that they're going to be watching very carefully...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Every move you make.

OBAMA: ... every move you make, and to make sure that people have a sense of how I deal with adversity, how I deal with mistakes, who do I have around me to make sure that we're executing on the
things that need to get done.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/05/ obama_on_abcs_this_week_with_g.html

Like I said, what crisi has he had to overcome?  He could not identify even one.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

The fact that Edwards sponsored the War Authorization Bill with Joe Lieberman (yeap, that creepy Joe Lieberman) renders him incompetent to be President.  Why is that? For once, what does it say about Edwards, the fact that he sponsored a War bill NOT BASED ON THE FACTS AVAILABLE TO CONGRESS, but rather based on political expedience and presidential aspirations? Like Hillary, why didnt he read the NIE? And if you say that he was tricked by George Bush, then what does say about Edwards's ability to lead that he was tricked By George Bush! Ha ha ha. Of course the "George Bush lied" applies to private citizens such as us (and even then a lot of us knew the justifications for the war was Bull), but it doesnt apply to a member of the U.S Senate; let alone the ONE (EDWARDS) sponsoring the Bill.  Why wasnt Bob Graham tricked by GW? Why wasnt Kennedy tricked by GW? And what about all those anti war voices?

Now, I've been highly disappointed by Obama's War record in the Senate.  But I have no doubts that J. Edwards would have the same record as Obama and Hillary had he stay in the senate.

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-07-13 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Why would you say that Edwards would have the same record as Obama and Clinton?  Did you not read everything?  Edwards voted against funding in 2003.  It is unlikely that he would be then changing again.  He continued to speak up against funding the war.  He already has the senate vote to speak for his position.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

What I don;t get is why Edwards would co-sponsor the war bill and then vote against funding the war in the same year. What the hell is that? That seems doubly irresponsible: not looking at the facts before authorizing the war, and then voting to cut off funds to the troops fighting the very war he pushed for. Can someone explain?

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Amen Brother!

Not only that, but I dont remember the Kerry-Edwards 04 Campaign as being anti-war at all. If anything, at times they sounded as retarded as the Bush/Cheney camp.  Why didnt Edwards say that his vote for the war was "wrong" during the 04 Campaign?

Edwards is just as much of a phony as Hillary Clinton.

I wish Dean will join the race.

by AnthonyMason2k6 2007-07-13 10:11AM | 0 recs
Calling people phonies

is rude.  I don't like your comment at all.

Kerry-Edwards would have ended this war.  

As for his delay after the election, his wife was first diagnosed with cancer then.  I think he had her on his mind.

It is easy for you to call people who both have worked hard to make this a better world phonies.
I am no Clinton supporter but I include her in that statement.  

Maybe you are a phony Dem?

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:19AM | 0 recs
Well, keep wishin' and hopin' and thinkin'

and prayin".  Keep that hope alive.  But me, I'm living in the now.  Not yesterday and not tomorrow.   When Edwards makes a mistake, he sees it right away and corrects his course.  He is a commander in that respect. He authorized the president to use force if Saddam did not comply with the weapons inspection.  He was raised in an area that really puts great trust in the commander in chief deal.  His trust was then finally broken.  Since then he has, as Bobby Kennedy did before him tried to repair his mistake.
Bobby quoted Sophocles when he referred to his original support for Vietnam:

"All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride."

The only sin is pride.  It is called the worst of sins because it puts a mirror between you and God's face.  Edwards does not have the sin of pride. He is not self-righteous.  This kind of humility and goodness is what I want.  And it comes in a package of courage.  He has taken big risks all his life, and we need that kind of command.  He is in command of his vision and how to get us there.

by Feral Cat 2007-07-13 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Jerome, once again is showing his true color

I like the guy and all, but his consistant bashing of Obama is ridiculous.

Edwards war vote is fair gain and Edwards did attack Obama on his funding votes....Obama has always stated that once the troops were in theater fighting,he decided that the best way to bring them home alive was to fund them so that they could get the ammunition,nightvision glasses and food so that they could survive.

At least, Obama did not co-sponsored this war and never led for the invasion of Iraq.

by JaeHood 2007-07-13 07:39AM | 0 recs
It is not "bashing" to analyze

without always saying Barack Obama is great.  

As for your "true color" comment, I think it is in approprite.  Are you implying his is "white"?The phrase is "true colors" and has nothing to do with skin color.  I will assume it was just a typo.  Nonetheless, there is no reason to attack Jerome.  If you disagree, you should just disagree on the merits.  

by littafi 2007-07-13 07:52AM | 0 recs
Using the word "bashing" when

an opinion of yours is challenged is a right wing or bully tactic because it plays the victim.  I have a radio show and I have a conservative that complains that I'm "picking on him" and "ridiculing him" and "not being fair." I told him that this wasn't a game.  And that pointing out his inconsistencies about, in this case, Scooter Libby and Bill Clinton were just stating the facts. Remember when Elizabeth Edwards went after Ann Coulter.  Ann went crying to Sean Hannity about the unfairness of it all.  It wasn't fair that people called her a Nazi and made fun of her. Make them stop, Sean.

Life is tough.  Well at least for a lot of people.  
Cowboy Up as we say here in Montana and just ger 'er done. Address the points made.  We are each entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts. And we are here to discuss and debate the issues.  This is what the primaries are for. Nobody gets a free pass.

by Feral Cat 2007-07-13 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

He's been in public office longer than Edwards. He's been active in public interest organizations and public policy work for decades, since he was just out of college. An Edwards supporter has no business attacking Obama based on a supposedly thin resume.

by msbatxnyc 2007-07-13 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

My support for a candidate is on judgement. Their will be issues coming up in four years that maybe very different and will require the judgement of the president.

An example is the cuban missle crisis of 1962. It was Kennedy's judgement that got us through that ccrisis not the advice he got from the military leaders of the time.

by BDM 2007-07-13 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

That moment with JFK was really impressive!

by Sarah Lane 2007-07-13 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Assessment of judgment is usually based on more than one incident.  

Jerome is looking at Obama's total record on Iraq.  

Obama is not consistent.  He had not explained his inconsitency.

So some of us question the quality of Obama's judgment.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

That's fair, but some of us think that, since the AUMF vote was the single most important vote of the careers of anyone in Congress at the time (with the possible exception of Sen. Byrd), the judgment displayed before the war began is more important, because that vote was more cut-and-dry than any vote since, and was the one that made all subsequent votes necessary.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I don't get it. You first say judgement, and then you reduce it conveniently to one vote that will make your view of judgement justified. Either look at the whole or don't pretend to care- it's really the only way to be fair. As I have said - for me personally- none of our candidates come to this debate with clean hands. Not Edwards (who I support), not HRC and not Obama. If you are going to talk about judgement- it's not a single vote, but what happens over time. In other words, people make mistakes- but by your standards they can not. I assume people make mistake, and by mines i look at the totality of what they have said and done. I see this diary as doing the same sort of analysis of what a fair person would do rather than cherry pick which bad judgment to accept or not accept.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No, I think you've made a false equivalency.  The initial vote to start the war was the reason that all subsequent votes were even necessary.  Votes on how to conduct a war are less clear-cut than votes to start a war.  Someone who blew the big call at the beginning while some of us were in the streets and on the phones doing anything we could to stop them, in my view, shows a greater failure of judgment than someone who, once the war was already going, wasn't sure what to do.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

As I said to someone below- your argument is rationalization. I support my candidate knowing full well what he's done wrong. I would support OBama knowing full well also because I don't expect him to be perfect.

Your argument depends on this conclusion (although you probably will dispute this): Once in a war, there is no way to get out of it unless the President says so.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No, it doesn't, and again you've got a gaping hole in your reasoning.  There are multiple ways to end a war once begun, and the problem has been that the candidates until recently have all had different strategies for doing so, because we were the Congressional minority and it didn't make much difference since we wouldn't be ending it anyway because we didn't have the numbers.

Incidentally, every decision to back one candidate over another is a rationalization.  I, however, don't have a pony in this race yet.  Further, it's really hard to say that my argument is rationalization when it's a longstanding standard to which I've held candidates for years (I didn't vote for Jim Davis in the Florida gubernatorial primary because of his vote on Iraq, either).  That's no more a rationalization than insisting a candidate be pro-choice: I simply insist that my candidates not have blown the biggest vote of their careers.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

out of order but here goes:

a) look up definition of rationalization

b) my reasoning is based on reading what others say the best options are. for example- how defunding really works versus talking pts.  more importantly, you keep saying generic 'other ways' - which ways has Obama used? More importantly you are still being circular in logic- the first vote is bad because it's bad is basically what i am left with after reading your post. the same arguments can be made for teh first vote that you are making for the votes after it. i am not saying any of it is right. but you are making the argument that the later votes are more justified- why?

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

a.

ra·tion·al·i·za· ;tion (răsh'ə-nə-lĭ-zā ;'shən)
n.
The act, process, or practice of rationalizing.
An instance of rationalizing.

Another step back to "rationalize":

v.intr.
  1. To think in a rational or rationalistic way.
  2. To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for one's behavior.

b. Obama wrote a withdrawal bill with a date certain of March '08, conveniently enough the date that Republican Sen. Snowe among other say they support, meaning the most likely date for a bipartisan withdrawal bill to succeed with.  And again, you've got a hole in your reasoning: it isn't in any way circular or tautological to hold the initial authorization vote higher than subsequent votes, beacuse the initial AUMF was a vote taken when we weren't in Iraq, whereas the other ones all were taken when we were.  That's a fundamental difference you're ignoring: making the decision to put out a fire or let it burn itself out is fundamentally different than making the decision to light it in the first place.  I don't see why this requires so much explanation to understand.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

a) the second definition applies to your analysis. and i believe you know that's the definition i was using- since the connotation is thought of as a negative. not something to be tauted as a good thing. not everyone does it, and your choice to do so, is your choice. I don't rationalize Edwards fuck ups. He's fucked somethings, and I leave it at that.

b)your logic is circular because you make assumptions about which action is worse without providing any real way of making a distinction.  that you repeat the point by analogy doesn't make it any less circular.

the fire analogy works only if one concludes you are right as to the circularity. ie, that once a fire gets started, one can continue to stick gasoline on it because afterall someone else started the fire. this is the more apt comparison. afterall one wants the fire to burn out- how exactly is that fire going to burn out by sticking gasoline on it? no explainatio.

the question is why is one any less responsible for continuing the fire as the person who started it. you aren't creating a break point in the fire by continuing the funding. indeed, especially if you had previously stated that by fueling hte fire, you understood it to be fueling the fire.

the more correct analogy would be contributory negligence from tort law. under this idea, one doesn't get to claim a lack of responsibility for continuing a fire merely because someone else starts it. both are contributors to the fire's continuance. your assumption here is that the war will end by some other means- but then provide no realistic means for ending it.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Okay, so you're condescending and don't get simple analogies.  Gotcha.

My assertion is that the one who commits the initial act is the bearer of the most responsibility.  So if Iraq turns into a full-fledged civil war after a withdrawal, I'm perfectly comfortable with blaming that on the invasion itself, because the invasion made any subsequent clusterfuckery possible.  If that seems circular to you, then so be it, your opinion is duly noted and I disagree.  The analogy holds just fine for determining responsibility in my book, and if it doesn't sell you then that's no hair off my ass.  

The guy playing with matches starts a fire, then steps back and complains that it isn't being fought the way he'd like, and that to you is less problematic than someone who had nothing to do with the matches and is doing what he thinks possible to put the fire out.  Whatever you say.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

That is a great analogy, actually. Sorry for your troubles explaining it.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I am done. Look, complain that you don't agree. Say I am completely wrong. But the minute people start to whine that I am being condescending for their using circular logic- is when I know this isn't about the logic of their arguments.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

You're making a false equivalence, too--it's a hell of a lot easier to criticize a vote from the outside than it is to actually make that vote from within the Capitol.  Obama would not have won his primary without his war opposition in the first place.  He differentiated himself by opposing the war, which was especially critical, given that he was not the establishment candidate for IL senate.  

I seriously wonder if he would have voted for the war with the rest if he had been elected to the Senate in 2000.  It's an unanswerable question, but the credit that he gets for opposing the war vote while running for the Senate is less than the credit that I give, say, Russ Feingold or Barbara Boxer for actually voting against the war.

by Valatan 2007-07-13 10:26AM | 0 recs
Before that came the Bay of Pigs...

That helped shape Kennedy's judgment.

Obama himself cited Kennedy's admission of a mistake regarding the Bay of Pigs, along with Edwards's admission of mistake concerning the AUMF, as examples of leadership.  He did so in November, 2005.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 08:43AM | 0 recs
Good example. Kennedy made a big

mistake in trusting the CIA and others about the Bay of Pigs.  But he was a newbie.  Big mistake.  He immediately corrected and was ready once the Cuban Missile Crisis happened.  That's what I see in Edwards.  Someone who can correct course and then say to himself, " I will trust my judgment above the so-called wise men.  But hey, you go your way and I'll go mine. I'm sticking with the tough trial lawyer to maneuver us through the coming storms.

by Feral Cat 2007-07-13 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama is a fraud on the iraq issue,he voted continuosly to fund the war,now he thinks he is the anti war candidate,he is all rhetoric and no substance.

by lara 2007-07-13 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I would rather trust his judgement on war and peace than Hillary's.

by BDM 2007-07-13 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

all candidates that voted for the war and voted to continue funding it lack judgement.

by lara 2007-07-13 08:06AM | 0 recs
Thanks, for reminding us of Truthteller2007

REBORN...

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, for reminding us of Truthteller2007

Obama needs to apologize for voting to fund the war.

by lara 2007-07-13 08:06AM | 0 recs
are you telling me what to do truthteller2007?

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

As opposed to someone who co-sponsored the war resolution itself and now think he's the antiwar candidate?

That cuts both ways, lara.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:16AM | 0 recs
Edwards is more like RFK than Obama is...

RFK said this after he announced for President:

Let me begin this discussion with a note both personal and public. I was involved in many of the early decisions on Vietnam, decisions which helped set us on our present path. It may be that the effort was doomed from the start; that it was never really possible to bring all the people of South Vietnam under the rule of the successive governments we supported -- governments, one after another, riddled with corruption, inefficiency, and greed; governments which did not and could not successfully capture and energize the national feeling of their people. If that is the case, as it well may be, then I am willing to bear my share of the responsibility, before history and before my fellow-citizens. But past error is no excuse for its own perpetuation. Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live. Now as ever, we do ourselves best justice when we measure ourselves against ancient tests, as in the Antigone of Sophocles: "All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rfk/filmmor e/ps_ksu.html

RFK was much more responsible for Vietnam.  Bush is responsible for Iraq.  Still, Edwards admittied he was wrong to authorize Bush and has steadily opposed the war since, including funding, foe which he NEVER voted for.  Edwards has evolved in the right way.  Obama seems to have regressed before he started moving forward again.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 08:53AM | 0 recs
Excellent quote.

"All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride."

Thank you for bringing it here.  RFK was right, as is John Edwards.

by littafi 2007-07-13 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama is a total fraud in the mode of G W Bush.  In order to keep others from calling you a hypocrite, you scream loudly that you are the only authentic candidate. Obama continues lag far behind Hillary and in some case is only tied with Edwards.  Why???? Because he has no experience and believes all he has to do is sell himself to win. The Dems ain't buyin and his base continues to be the Washington Press Corp.

by changehorses08 2007-07-13 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I totally agree

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:11AM | 0 recs
Who is your dog in the race?

I am curious.  Because you do focus on Obama, with a weekly tirade, or update.  Which is cool, this is your site, but who is your dog in the race?  And I do disagree, Obama does need to differentiate himself from the others.  Clinton has been clever to let the "Iraq Vote and Support" issue become a vaccum, that has or is being swept away.  So, yes, this issue is a concern of all Democratic Voters, and many Independents, too.  As, this group is growing in angst, versus dwindling.  This is one reason why Clinton is going to YKos.  She need to address this group, and to be honest, she probably did not think she had to.  But she does.  So, thanks for reminding us, you do not care for Obama, but again, do not have an "official" dog in the race.

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Who is your dog in the race?

This is about mydd site visits and page views.

by aiko 2007-07-13 08:43AM | 0 recs
It's not about Edwards.

It's about Hillary Clinton.  Obama's not specific about "who", but to me it's abundantly clear this is targeded way more at separation with Clinton than with Edwards.

True, he defended himself in a recent debate when Edwards was pushing the "leadership" meme...and Obama pushed back.  But the context of most of the quotes seem to be aimed at Clinton (dueling speeches in Iowa, for example).

The 2002 context is important, because it allows Obama to contrast his "judgment" with Clinton's "experience".  As far as the "funding" issue...sure, take issue with that if you want.

by rashomon 2007-07-13 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about Edwards.

And before you start whacking away at the "Obama fans can't take criticism" saw, I've got no problem with you post, other than disagreeing with it.  The part I don't care for is when Ben Smith at Politico links to it and then comments about how the "blogosphere doesn't like Obama".  Which really is more about him than you.

by rashomon 2007-07-13 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Edwards has been a much stronger advocate for ending the war than Obama since Obama entered the Seante.  For years now, Edwards has supported using the funding power to bring troops home.  

Obama voted agaisnt Kerry-Feingold in 2006 and for the Gregg Resolution in March this year that said cutting funding is wrong.  Then, under pressure from Edwards and Dodd, Obama and Clinton finally voted to cut funding.  They showed no leadership on this issue.

Excellent post, Jerome.

by littafi 2007-07-13 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Getting out of this war is going to be a whole lot harder than getting into it. Obama made a good judgement in 2002 because he studied the situation, considered the reality on the ground, used his knowledge and understanding of the people and their tribal alliances. I have to think that he has made the same kind of analysis concerning what to do now. Defunding the war is a risky and radical step that one would not choose if there are other options available that have not been tried. I think it is Bush's recalcitrance that has moved many people to this position because it is a risky one. Also it doesn't work defunding doesn't work very well as a strategy if you don't have the votes to make it stick. They are not going to just beam out of there so they need time and money to get out of there as safely as possible. Obama has already said after going in there we are left with a lot of bad choices. So if I had a choice of a candidate who had the good sense to count the cost before rather than trying to figure it out after, I would chose the before guy.

by jazzyjay 2007-07-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
Off target as usual on Obama

Oh please Jerome. Pointing out clear differences on Iraq is now an "attack"?

Obama's position on the war has emphasized judgment in making big decisions as opposed to political expediency. Sending men and women into war requires the utmost judgment from our leaders. This is what Obama refers to when he points out his long held opposition to the war when it wasn't even a popular thing to do back in 2003.

by rosebowl 2007-07-13 07:45AM | 0 recs
Obama's big decision....

>>>Obama's position on the war has emphasized judgment in making big decisions as opposed to political expediency

As opposed to POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY????

Obama rallies state Democrats, throws support behind Lieberman
By Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press Writer  |  March 31, 2006 - http://tinyurl.com/2eruop

HARTFORD, Conn. --U.S. Sen. Barack Obama rallied Connecticut Democrats at their annual dinner Thursday night, throwing his support behind mentor and Senate colleague Joe Lieberman...
"The fact of the matter is, I know some in the party have differences with Joe. I'm going to go ahead and say it," Obama told the 1,700-plus party members who gathered in a ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center for the $175-per-head fundraiser.

"I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate so he can continue to serve on our behalf," he said.

Lieberman became Obama's mentor when Obama was sworn into the Senate in 2005. They stayed close at Thursday night's event, too, entering the room together and working the crowd in tandem....

In fact, scattered boos greeted Lieberman when he took the podium, and he had to stop three times during his remarks to shush the crowd so he could deliver key points.

Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, is challenging Lieberman for the party's nomination this year. Legions of supporters of Lieberman and Lamont both attended the dinner....

by annefrank 2007-07-13 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

He's at it again.

by bode78 2007-07-13 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

And you're at it again.  Posting non sequitors.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Are you aware of the definition of "non sequitor" ?

A conclusory statement standing alone cannot be a non-sequitor.

Don't try to be cute with me boy, girl, or whatever you are.

by bode78 2007-07-13 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

And don't be so dismissive of Jerome or me when you post so little of substance.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Who is being dismissive? I take what you people say quite seriously because I understand the false narratives you're trying to construct around Barack Obama.

Of course, you've earned the right to be dismissed, coming around here tossing around terms you don't even understand. If you're going to go on the offensive, you can't screw up like that.

Oh well, now you know and knowing is half the battle. You're welcome.

by bode78 2007-07-13 09:15AM | 0 recs
How is talking

about Obama's votes to fund the war a false narrative?

It appears that there are only two views of Obama you can see.  Abject worship of Obama and everyone else, the unbelievers, who are devils.

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: How is talking

Look, I don't bash John Edwards. Never have and never will. I mean, why bother.

by bode78 2007-07-14 09:08AM | 0 recs
And this post, just made me,

go over to Obama's site and send him fifty bucks, in coin.  Thanks, Jerome!!!

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 07:48AM | 0 recs
He's taking credit

for a judgment call which Hillary and Edwards utterly failed to make.

He is also not pandering about what the reality is, which is that any troop withdrawal will be a long, arduous process which will probably take over a year. He is not stooping to Clinton's flip-flop-flip from unapologetic hawk, to hawk chastened by the polls but figuring she loses more by flopping than by sticking by her vote, to ludicrously promising "all troops gone in 60 days," (Why not just make it 60 seconds?) which is logistically absolutely impossible.

Are all correct judgment calls now off the table as "part of the past," Jerome? (WTF.) What the hell is your problem with Obama?

by jforshaw 2007-07-13 07:51AM | 0 recs
"part of the past,"

I guess the funding votes that Jerome has a problem with are "part of the past" too?  Oh no, only the actions in the past that help Edwards and hurt Obama matter to Jerome.  

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: "part of the past,"

actually the point is that no one has clean hands in this and that no one should be cherrypicking. which means obama can not be above the fray

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: "part of the past,"

Convenient, and continues with your ongoing effort to downplay the importance of the initial decision as to whether or not to authorize this war.

by dansac 2007-07-13 11:52AM | 0 recs
Obama has not that much to take credit for.

You haven't explained his votes for funding in 2005, 2006 and his votes against Kerry-Feingold (a Democrat) or his vote for the Gregg amendment(a Republican).  And then why was his so wimpy about his last vote?

Jerome is pointing out the inconsistencies that some of us have noted for quite a while but no one has ever responded to in a rational fashion.  Jerome acknowledges the good sense of Obama's first commentary on the war (he did not vote on it), but questions his votes given they are contradictory to that judgment call.

What can't you get about the point Jerome is making?  Or is it that there is no clear rebuttal?  People have been constantly bashing Edwards for his evolution in thinking, but the same people will not deal with Obama's inconsistencies.

Clinton also has some explaining to do.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

While this is a pretty transparent hit-piece, I think Jerome does raise a valid issue--albeit from the standpoint of a very high-information voter.

However, I would argue that most people weren't paying attention to the nuance around Obama's war funding votes--and I think it's these voters that are being targeted.  To most people Obama is still the only major candidate who was right on the major issue of our time.

In my opinion, Obama is simply trying to consolidate his hold on the "judgement" issue--and he's perfectly capable of doing that.  It's also plausible that he could use this positioning to peel off Clinton and Edwards support as the war and those who at one time supported it (even just initially) continue to look foolish.

I don't see how you can criticize his strategy in this case.  You may have gripes about how he handled a vote or two, but that doesn't invalidate the "judgement gap" Obama is trying to highlight.

by gabr1el 2007-07-13 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

You're exactly right.  For Jerome to say that the "judgment" issue isn't of significant importance in the race based on subsequent funding votes is silly - and I suspect he knows it.   It's already been a big issue, and it's why many people support Obama.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

why exactly isn't subsequent funding and or support important? it seems many of you are trying to make a distinction that makes you feel better about your choice, but not one that has anything to do with basic judgement. so please expalin beyond saying it isn't the same.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

It's not important because beyond the blogosphere, nobody cares about how Obama may or may not have given mixed signals on funding votes.  The true test--the real political risk--was the AUMF itself.  And while Obama wasn't actually in the Senate at the time, nobody can deny that he took a gigantic risk coming out against the war as he did.  

As far as the larger voting population is concerned, everything else is just details.

by gabr1el 2007-07-13 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

so this isn't a crique of jerome's point,b ut what obama get away- thats rather crass.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

It's because at this point in time, we know that starting the Iraq War was a blunder.  We don't yet know of the various ways to end the war, which way would be best (for us, for Iraq, for the region and world).  

So we can talk about judgment for the first decision.  For the withdrawal decision, although we can all advocate for our preferred approaches, there isn't any definitive evidence yet of which would be the correct choice.

by kiwing 2007-07-13 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

that sounds like a hindsight point- which is part of my point. clearly edwards showed bad judgement in hindsight , but without hindsight all we can do with obama is do what people are doing now- looking at his judgement in context.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yes, it is a hindsight point.  Without omniscience, hindsight is a tool used to achieve some objectivity in evaluating the judgment of others.  

That's if we care about objectivity -- it's always easiest and most fun to attribute the best judgment to those who agree with our own conclusions (a general statement, not about you).  

by kiwing 2007-07-26 06:04AM | 0 recs
Great post

But Obama's record on funding is even sligtly worse than you state, because he supported defunding before he got to the Senate, then when he got to the Senate he kept arguing that defunding would hurt the troops--a GOP talking point that undermined proponents of defunding. In other words, not only did he oppose defunding, he did active harm to the defunding cause.

by david mizner 2007-07-13 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post

I think we need a good debate on Iraq and compare the positions of the candidates for withdrawl Chris Bowers is attempting to do this on open left.

We need to know the amount of the residual force that many are advocating and their role. 50-60,000 troops left in Iraq as a residual force will not end this war. I am sure the republican candidates will come up with a similar plan by the start of 2008.

Yes Judgement is a part of this equation especially in moving forward, So far we have one candidate who showed good judgement before the war started.

by BDM 2007-07-13 08:01AM | 0 recs
Clinton speaks of

a real residual force.  Edwards does not.

by littafi 2007-07-13 08:23AM | 0 recs
no, he didn't

before he got to the senate he supported not giving Bush appropriations that included no bid contracts. He's been clear on this.

Jerome is also wrong about how edwards has been using funding since 2003 implying that he used it to end the war. Not true. He said repeatedly up until the November 2004 election that he did not want to withdraw troops from iraq. Jerome implies he's been anti-war since 2003, but that's just not true. He's been anti-"this particular war strategy "since 2003 but not pro-withdrawal.

Moreover, in february on this year on mtp, edwards said he did not want to cut funds form the war or defund it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16903253/

"Well, first of all, I'm not running for the Senate, I'm running for president of the United States. What I would do is, is say we're not going to fund an escalation of this war. That's what I think we should do. I would not cut off funding for the men and women who are part of our troops and serving in, in, in Iraq."

by dpg220 2007-07-13 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post

Let me ask you this.  If you were voting on funding legislation in the Senate, and knew George Bush was the President, would you feel confident that Bush would actually stop placing troops in harms way merely b/c funds no longer allowed for optimum equipment?  

Look, at this point I think defunding is the way to go -- and consensus is obviously moving in that direction.  That being said, I understand why legitimately anti-war Senators, including Jim Webb, have been adverse to that kind of approach in the past even though they support a firm withdrawal date.  With this President in charge, god only knows what may happen when funds are cut.  The guy thinks god told him to invade Iraq.

by HSTruman 2007-07-13 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post

Exactly, exactly. Bush sends troops into Iraq who already don't have body armor...cutting funding won't make him end the war, it'll make the troops whose tours he keeps extending underfunded and vulnerable.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post

He opposed the waging of the war during his run for the Senate.  Once the train left the station, no matter how hard he shouted, there would be no return of the troops. There was no defunding to do once the IWR was passed by the Congress.

Once we went in, there was no PRUDENT choice when you are in the minority party other than to give it a chance to work.   To do a Dennis Kucinich and continue the criticism even as the troops cross the border is both irresponsible and counterproductive.    Of course I know you're accustomed to supporting losing strategies, so that fact would have escaped you.

by JoshuaGeneration 2007-07-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Great post

Let us not forget that Obama was for the Libby Pardon before he was against it.

by changehorses08 2007-07-13 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obamaniacs in whining mode again.

by areyouready 2007-07-13 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Ah once again using that insulting slur... This 1's for you.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I concur.  He is annoying and these taunts add nothing to the conversation.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 10:39AM | 0 recs
The Future, Not The Past

Righton, Jerome.

I made similar points in response to Todd Beeton's post yesterday.

Given Obama's voting record, as well as the fact that most people's view of Iraq has evolved, and rightfully so, since 2003, Obama's attempt to finnesse these minute differences alone won't yield the gains necessary to eat into Clinton's current 15.2% lead over him.

Further, as her post today at TaylorMarsh.com illustrates, Obama's vagueness with regards to residual troop presense only butresses the publics opinion of Obama being light on substance.

Most Americans blame BushCo for the Iraq disaster, and rightfullyl so.  Candidates would be wise to focus on concrete plans for the future, as opposed to trying to win rhetorical points on issues from the past.

by BigBoyBlue 2007-07-13 08:03AM | 0 recs
All I want to know is

Why do you hate Obama?

But seriously, a similar thing actually happened to Dean in 2004. Dean got a lot of notice early on by being the Democrat who was firm and loud in opposition to Bush and critical of the war. Most of the other candidates blurred their positions with Dean's and he didn't stand out so much anymore. If you were a purist on who voted against the war at the beginning (not to mention in favor of US withdrawal), the only one still in the race in January 2004 was Kucinich.

I suppose that Obama supporters have a fair point that Obama can argue that his judgement in 2002 trumps others' experience, even if that's a very overstated point. But that doesn't explain his flip-flops on funding the war. He voted (and voiced support) for the Gregg Amendment, and then he voted for defunding a short time later. Those two are completely at odds with each other!

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:06AM | 0 recs
I think Obama's...

...argument is that both Clinton and Edwards (as did Kerry and so many others) were willing to let political advisors convince them that they had to vote to authorize the use of force if they wanted a political future.

Obama's saying that, on a matter of such consequence, allowing political calculation to guide your decisions is a historical tragedy of monumental proportions.

You can, of course, say that Obama perhaps has done the same thing on funding. But, I believe, that is much more a sign of his political realism on the make-up of the Senate and House prior to the '06 election.

Obama could have used all of his political capital on pushing for de-funding, sure. But, he would never have gotten anything for it. Since, the Democrats never would have had the votes (and still don't) to be successful.

But, to me, the original calculation by Edwards and Clinton (both active cheerleaders of the resolution) had far, far more to do with the huge mess that we're in.

To say that these positions are comparable seems, to me, "full of folly".

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I think Obama's...

What has Obama used his political capital for?  Iraq was the key issue.  He actively undermined Feingold.  He supported the RW talking points of Gregg and voted for the Gregg amendment.  

I don't see what great judgment Obama has demonstrated recently on Iraq.  You easily dismiss Clinton's and Edwards votes as "cheerleading" which is a distortion of both their senate speeches.  Yet you then minimize Obama's votes by saying the Democrats would not have had the votes.  (They didn't in 2002 and in 2007 - too many Democrats are still blue dogs)  

The positions aren't comparible.  Edwards realized that giving the authority to Bush was a mistake and started to vote against Bush and has spoken up ever since.  Obama has been inconsistent.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:33AM | 0 recs
The irony...

... of much of the anti-Obama sentiment is this.

Folks who don't like Obama seem to give his stature much more weight on these matters than Obama or his supporters do.

They always say things like "Why didn't Obama use his star power to do x or y..."

But, just because Obama got some media attention following the DNC speech, how much depth of political capital do you really feel he had to spend? Especially on a losing battle.

If he had come barreling into the Senate as the "angry, anti-War activist" he would have been marginalized instantly by the press. And his supposed capital would have evaporated instantly.

It's as if anti-Obama folks are so disappointed that Obama is not the person they thought he was. The funny thing is that Obama supporters tend not to have had these lofty misconceptions.

And they are, therefore, less likely to feel that Obama doesn't live up to some ideal of a progressive avenger.

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: The irony...

I don't dislike Obama, but I can see where you need to believe that in order for you to dismiss criticism of tactics.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:03AM | 0 recs
Well, you've touched on the other...

...irony of most of the anti-Obama attacks.

It's funny how one of the main critiques of those who are inclined to say that Obama is more style than substance...

...tend to critique his style rather than his substance.

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, you've touched on the other...

so saying that his vote for funding of the war is a style, not substantive critique? that's a truly bizzare statement if that was your point. what exactly constitute "substance" in your view, again if this was your point.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:27AM | 0 recs
You used the word...

... "tactics."

Meaning that the contention by some (perhaps not by you) is not that they think that Obama doesn't want the war to end, but that they don't like how he's trying to accomplish it.

Style over substance.

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: You used the word...

my response was to the notion that everyone who disagrees hates a candidate. that's the canard lately whether its edward, obama or hrc that's used to end discussion.

here's the definition of tac·tic:      ˈtæktɪk Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[tak-tik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
-noun 1. tactics (def. 1).  

  1. a system or a detail of tactics.  
  2. a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.  
-adjective 4. of or pertaining to arrangement or order; tactical.  

---------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------

[Origin: 1560-70; NL tacticus < Gk taktikós fit for arranging or ordering, equiv. to tak- (base of tássein (Attic táttein) to arrange, put in order) + -tikos -tic]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source tac·tic       (tāk'tĭk)  Pronunciation Key  
n.   An expedient for achieving a goal; a maneuver.  

show me how its a matter of style over substance.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:45AM | 0 recs
Of course...

... a "tactic" can also inherently have substance.

But I think my main point is quite clear.

A "tactic" is the means not the end.

It is the method one utilizes to achieve goals.

But, to get away from this circular argument, how 'bout this:

Much of the anti-Obama critique is about his tactics not his goals.

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course...

the point that jerome is making- is that the consequence of his voting for funding is the same as edwards voting for starting the war- namely the war continues. what obama intends is irrelevant to the question of his judgement. just as what edwards intends is irrelevant to his. i used tactic-perhaps poorly- to reference internal thinking processes,a nd what they will mean for either as leader. that neither has unclean hands in terms of good jugdement

by bruh21 2007-07-13 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The irony...

If he had come barreling into the Senate as the "angry, anti-War activist" he would have been marginalized instantly by the press. And his supposed capital would have evaporated instantly.

You've struck gold there.  Obama hasn't gained his reputation for being bold.  He's gained it (and kept it) by being broadly palatable.  

by Junior Bug 2007-07-13 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The irony...

I think you're right about that...

Obama supporters see this as a pragmatic strength. Obama detractors see it as weakness.

We'll find out who's right.

by Vermonter 2007-07-13 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I think Obama's...

Obama didn't just keep his powder dry on defunding - he continued to parrot the line that defunding hurts the troops practically until he voted FOR defunding.  He could have kept as quiet as he did when he voted on the most recent defunding bill.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:38AM | 0 recs
2004 War Funding Vote...

If you'll recall, in 2004 the Dem objections to funding the war were not based on the desire to withdraw from Iraq.  It was that the reconstruction aid we gave to the Allawi gov't were grants rather than loans.  And frankly, I thought that idea repugnant - that the Iraqis would have to pay us back for the corporate welfare we gave to Bush's cronies and cash pocketed by corrupt American favorites (remember how the Ministry of Defense "lost" billions of said aid?).  Edwards (and Kerry 31 other Dems in the Senate) was moved by these sentiments, and he was dead wrong.  It's worth pointing out that after the 2003 funding vote, the Dems voted virtually lockstep in funding the war.  So the 2003 vote is certainly not indicative of whether Edwards supported defunding at the time.

You say that "Edwards continued to vote against funding until he left the Senate in 2005," but I'm at a loss at figuring out which votes you're referring to.  AFAIK, Edwards didn't come out for withdrawal until the end of 2005, i.e. after he left the Senate.

What is true is that Edwards supported withdrawal a year before Obama.  My personal view is between the two, that is the point of no return was the al-Askari mosque bombing in Samarra, and the subsequent reprisals.  So Edwards gets kudos for supporting Kerry-Feingold soon afterwards, but it's also true that Obama wasn't that far behind.  And he was quicker on figuring out the politics regarding timetables/funding.  But let's not pretend that there was a four year gulf in Edwards' favor.

All things considered, I'm a lot more comfortable with Obama's foreign policy judgment than with Edwards'.  Making the wrong call on the authorization vote is a much worse judgment call than missing the point-of-no-return date by a few months....

by Ramo 2007-07-13 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: 2004 War Funding Vote...

Yup, no real facts in Jerome's analysis.  I don't recall Edwards saying in the 2004 campaign that the war was a mistake and we should withdraw, do you?

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: 2004 War Funding Vote...

I don't...and I would have remembered, I was waiting for that from either him or Kerry.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: 2004 War Funding Vote...

To clarify my post, I interchangeably used 2003 and 2004 to describe the war funding vote.  I meant to refer to the same thing (the vote held in 2003 to fund the war through 2004).

by Ramo 2007-07-13 08:17AM | 0 recs
I support Obama too but you're wrong on this


"What is true is that Edwards supported withdrawal a year before Obama.  My personal view is between the two, that is the point of no return was the al-Askari mosque bombing in Samarra, and the subsequent reprisals.  So Edwards gets kudos for supporting Kerry-Feingold soon afterwards, but it's also true that Obama wasn't that far behind.  And he was quicker on figuring out the politics regarding timetables/funding.  But let's not pretend that there was a four year gulf in Edwards' favor."

Obama called for a withdrawal in November 2005 as well in a speech to the council on foeign relations.

by dpg220 2007-07-13 08:28AM | 0 recs
But he voted against Kerry-Feingold

I like the guy, but he hadn't made substantive steps towards supporting withdrawal till the end of 2006.  What he supported in the abstract doesn't really matter...

by Ramo 2007-07-13 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: 2004 War Funding Vote...

You should diary this.

by jb1125 2007-07-13 08:53AM | 0 recs
You are incorrect about this:

There's very little for Obama to gain by trying to make this attempt at a preemptive differentiation between him and the other candidates, especially Edwards, because for anyone whom pegs that single vote in 2002 as the black-and-white issue for whom they will support for the 2008 nomination, that voter would want a much more anti-war candidate than Obama has been over the past 2 years. They have Kucinich.

This is just silly.  I for one consider the 2002 AUMF vote as an indication of a candidates judgment under fire--that was the single biggest vote any of the Senate Dems now running ever faced, and I cannot trust the judgment of anyone who supported it back then, because we already knew enough to know that it was a terrible idea.

My personal rule since 2002 has been to never support any primary candidate who voted to invade Iraq, because I cannot trust them to have either the political fortitude or the good sense to do the right thing in high-pressure situations.  That vote was the most important vote of their careers, and the ones who blew it don't get my primary vote, period.

Now, should a candidate like Edwards, who has expressed regret for his role in taking us to war, get the nomination, I'll be a hell of a lot more enthusiastic about helping him than I would a candidate who blew the 2002 vote and still doesn't admit to what a massive failure in judgment that was.  But nobody who voted to invade should expect my support in a primary at any level, federal or state.

I don't like Kucinich, and it's stupid to try and use his vanity candidacy to stereotype antiwar voters.  Biden, Clinton, Edwards and Dodd lost my vote back in 2002.  I will, of course, support our eventual nominee, but I'd prefer that nominee to be someone who, when the chips were down, made the right call.

by Jay R 2007-07-13 08:11AM | 0 recs
&quot;This is just silly.&quot;

100% right.  Sadly these posts of Jerome are increasingly silly.  It's one thing if you prefer Edwards over Obama.  But it's another to pretend honestly that Obama's initial opposition to this war ever being fought at all is a non-issue.  It is a central issue, and it already has been.  Saying otherwise is dishonest.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:14AM | 0 recs
Deeply Wrong Analysis

Although it's almost becoming too easy to point out that Jerome generally offers very little in the way of real analysis anymore, and every post is a either a hit-piece on Obama couched in "analysis," a completely uncritical touting of Edwards with wishful thinking pretending to be "facts," this one takes the cake.

Now, there are valid points to be made that Obama's position on funding has been inconsistent, or at least that there has been an evolution in his thinking when it comes to that.  No candidate is perfect on this issue and no candidate is all bad on this issue.

But, there is no way to argue that Obama's "wrong" if he thinks that getting it right from the start won't help him.  Because it is, and it has.  It may not make a difference to Jerome, but can any honest observer of this campaign say that Obama's original opposition to Iraq isn't helping him gain supporters?  

So when Jerome writes: "If Obama thinks he's going to move primary and caucus voters toward him by making a vote that happened 5 years earlier, given his strident support of funding the war, he's wrong."  Um, no, he's not.  He has already moved primary support because of this fact.  So, how can Jerome honestly write this as if it's a fact?  

And by the way, Edwards wasn't just wrong on the vote in Iraq, he then publicly campaigned for two years on how he did, in his words, "exactly the right thing."  He said it over and over again.  It wasn't until after his loss in 2004 and in 2005 that he acknowledged it was a mistake.  

Now, to be fair, both have done a lot wrong and done a lot right when it comes to this issue.  The problem with Jerome is, of course, that he cannot honestly analyze the position of every candidate.    We all know the distaste he has for Obama and for the "movement" candidacy.  We all know his positive feelings for Edwards.  That's fine.

But pretending to analyze honestly and call out certain opinions, beliefs, or hopes of his to be "truths" or "facts" has become Jerome's stock-in-trade lately (almost all directed against Obama or in favor of Edwards), and I'd wish he'd take a step back and see how much his credibility has been damaged by it.  

Easy to say "Obamaniacs in whining mode again," which is fine.  But from an intellectually honest standpoint, let's stop pretending that these posts of Jerome represent anything other than his personal bias masquerading as "analysis" or "fact."

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Deeply Wrong Analysis

Obama was against the AUMF from the start but once in the Senate voted to fund the use of force repeatedly.  In other words, he started out right and made a sharp turn in the wrong direction.  By focusing on being right early on and leaving out the being wrong from that point on, he is being a smart candidate especially for low information voters.  For those of us who have been paying attention, however, not so much.

Edwards was for the AUMF at the start but changed to voting against funding once he saw how Bush had misused the AUMF.  In other words, he started out wrong and made a sharp turn in the right direction.  By admitting his earlier mistake and focusing on correcting that error, he is being a smart candidate especially for high information voters.  For those of us who have been paying attention, especially, very much.

by edgery 2007-07-13 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Deeply Wrong Analysis

"Edwards was for the AUMF at the start but changed to voting against funding once he saw how Bush had misused the AUMF."

Really?  So it took until 2005 to see that Bush had misused the AUMF?  Because that's how long it took him to change his position - once he was out of office by the way.  

Please stop with the fake condescension about "high-information voters," I've been following this thing just as closely as anyone.  Or clearly you must be "smarter" than those who don't support your candidate.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Deeply Wrong Analysis

No, he voted against Bush in October 2003.  Here is his explanation.  He apologized for the vote in 2005.  For all these Obama supporters that claim to understand his nuance they don't understand or deliberately misunderstand Edwards.  

The AUMF gave Bush the authority to negotiate with Saddam.  The struggle for Edwards was whether to give this authority to a sitting president knowing that it was Bush who Edwards didn't fully trust.  He chose to give the authority.  The AUMF provided for conditions to make it international.  When Bush didn't follow through Edwards voted against continuing that policy as he explains here - Senator Edwards on Funding for Iraq.  Obama said the same thing here  Obama and the $87 Billion

In 2005 after Elizabeth had gone through her cancer treatments he gave great thought to what he needed to do and that included an apology in his op/ed on The Right Way in Iraq for having given Bush the authority.  However he started to speak out and vote against the war in 2003.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Deeply Wrong Analysis

Wrong and wrong.  He spoke out against the direction of the war.  He did not speak out against the war itself.  In fact, throughout the entire campaign he continued to say until 2004 that the vote in favor of authorizing the war was exactly the right thing.  It's a fact, no matter through whatever lens you try to view history.  

by dansac 2007-07-13 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Deeply Wrong Analysis

Like I said some Obama supporters who love his nuanced statement cannot recognize the complexity in someone else.  Edwards supported giving a sitting president the authority.  His struggle at the time (and this was verified by Shrum that there was a struggle for this vote in Edwards mind) was whether to trust the presidency or not trust Bush.  He defended giving a president the authority, he attacked Bush's use of that authority.  Clinton was in the dilemma of having the experience of congress not giving Bill the authority as a sitting president so her advisors advised voting for the authority.  Edwards also spoke to them.  

Edwards never cheerled the war.  He did think it may have been necessary given the information they had.  And being on the Intelligence Committee still produced a split vote in the Democrats so the information was inconclusive.  

And I would still say he made the wrong choice.  But at no point was he advocating for war.  It is not in his history not does it fit his priorities at any point.

I also think that is true of Obama.  He does not advocate for war.  However I think his positions are far more politically swayed than Edwards were.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

the more the Clinton and Edwards supporters on the site like Jerome say things like this the more convinced I am that Obama is hitting a nerve. The reason for the frontpage post is that Obama is hitting a little too close to home, I'm glad that the campaign doesn't seem to be listening to people who want to see them fail like this, it's kind of like when the FOX news heads offer "advice" to democrats or when W said he feared Joe Lieberman as dem nominee. Jerome and others on here don't like Obama and don't think he's good for the party, it's obvious and it's good for debate that that they post thier thoughts but frankly thier roles as "unbiased" observers offering advice on how to appeal to democrats is at this point to be taken as about ad seriously as Fox news's is.

by nevadadem 2007-07-13 08:13AM | 0 recs
Nailed it

My problem with Jerome isn't that he doesn't like Obama.  My problem is that he pretends to post these things as "unbiased analysis."  

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Nailed it

Exactly...This is the same problem that i have with him....He predents that his analysis are unbias and he has no beef toward Obama.

by JaeHood 2007-07-13 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Nailed it

Yes. That's just it and it's intellectually dishonest.

by bode78 2007-07-13 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

(Of course, Iraq will be the issue.) I fully support defunding legislation as a means of wending our way out of the morass and find Obama's voting record on that issue regrettable. But right or wrong: to fund? or not to fund? has been, in fact, arguable.

OTOH, enabling/authorizing/co-sponsoring the bush-war-agenda initially and sending 3,600 (and counting) troops to their deaths in an illigitimate war? It never was.

arguable, that is
...in the minds of many.

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Who is more responsible? The ones who voted to authorize the use of force, or the ones who provided the means to continue killing Americans for the past 4 years?  The ones who unlocked the safe or the ones who held the door open and passed out the bullets?  I can see both being culpable but at the end of the day, the ones who thoughtfully, willfully, consistently enabled this war carry a much heavier burden -- because some of them claimed at the beginning to know better and still participated time after time after time.

by edgery 2007-07-13 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Pretty naive analysis.  Once a country goes to war, you've changed the equation completely, and even those who opposed the war to begin with have to deal with the situation as it's changed.

That's why the best way to avoid that issue is to have never allowed the war to start with.  To suggest that those who allowed funding of the troops to continue once the troops were in the midst of a war is equivalent, or in your assessment, worse, than those who allowed it to happen from the beginning is pretty unrealistic.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

so you are saying there is no way to stop a war once it starts and there is nothing we can do to prevent bush's actions- that's the natural conclusion of what you keep writing here.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Not at all what I'm saying, I'm saying allowing a war to start is far far far worse.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

and i am saying your argument is circular unless one defines why you think that is the case by saying what happens afterwards. that once started it cant be stopped is implicit in what you are writing whetehr you agree with me or not.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Simply put, there is no eraser on that pencil that signs one's name to an endorsement of an illigitimate war...with all of its ramifications.

How to effectively end a conflagration is far more complicated and time-consuming than starting it.

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

by the way- the circular part is the start is worse because the start is worse without explaining while what happens after isn't just as bad

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

My explanation is based in the real world.  Realistically, the very second a war starts, the whole equation changes and even those who opposed it have to deal with the reality on the ground.  The best way in real terms to not have to confront that issue is to never have allowed the war to begun.

by dansac 2007-07-13 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

and now we go to who is more 'real' as someone else who responds to you wrote- the real world also includes the analysis of what actually defunding means. my definition also includes what was going on at the time of the war vote. it includes a lot of things that you are cherrypicking out of the analysis.

and you state the obvious by saying we should have avoided the war- but i dont see how that absolve those who come later of getting us out of it. i don't see how point out that johnson got us into vietnam absolve nixon of not getting us out of it when he decided it was wrong. one wrong  judgement doesn't absolve the other.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Nope, but the issue is much less clear-cut once a war has begun.  There are a variety of ways of ending a war or shaping its outcome after it began.

But on the yes or no question of whether the war should have been authorized, that still remains the most critical test of judgement.

by dansac 2007-07-13 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

i can't respond anymore to your vagaries- be specific because its very circular. you keep saying the first vote was yes/no and therefore it was wrong,b ut the decisions afterwards apparently aren't yes/no- that's what makes what you say circular. you provide no reason why they aren't yes/no- you just make the assertion.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Wow, you must not want to understand because my reasoning is very simple:

War changes everything.  Once a war begins, very little is yes/no, especially as a legislator.  There are a hundred different ways to approach ending a war or changing its direction.  But once a war begins, everything changes and you have to deal with a much more complex reality then.  Even those who opposed it can have mixed opinions about how to deal with it once our country is engaged in a war.  Getting out of a war is a complex matter.

But whether or not to authorize it isn't.  

If it's not clear enough for you, let me say it clearly again: there is no moral equivalence between the vote before a war begins and those that follow.  

Look, clearly you want to believe because of your support for Edwards that what he's done since the war more than makes up for his vote to authorize it.  Fine.

But do not delude yourself into buying Jerome's point that it doesn't matter what happened back at the beginning.  It matters deeply.  And it matters to voters.

by dansac 2007-07-13 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

yes i have seen you repeat yourself throughout my questioning of your reasoning- i got what you were saying which is why at base its circular. once you begin, it's done you can' stop. therefore the begining is more important than subsequent decisions. that's not anlaysis- it's merely makign assertions. yeap okay.

jerome never wrote what you said at the end- you did.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

exactly.

Everyone knew that once the war had started, they were no "turning back the clock".

Obama had always stated that he was against the war,but once and if the war had gone forward, it was everyone's duty to fund those troops that are on the ground so they could stay alive and return home alive.

At that point, voting against funding that would go to feed the troops is baseless and doesnt do anything to get them out since you would be in the minority voting that way anyway.

by JaeHood 2007-07-13 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

"Funding the troops" is simply falling into the Republican talking points.  It is actually possible to use the power of the purse-strings to change the course and duration of the war, but it takes the courage to stand up against the bullies who were and still are using false patriotism.  If it was patriotic to stand against the war, it would be at least as patriotic to vote against its funding.

This isn't naive; it is honest.

by edgery 2007-07-13 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Who is more foolish? The fool, or the fool that follows him?

by bode78 2007-07-13 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No, I'm saying that authorizing the use of our military in an illigitimate war borders on heinous. I'm saying that there was enough intel information available to our duly-electeds prior to the invasion that there was no rationale for enabling it; to say nothing of the fact that everyone of our congressional reps had to be cognizant of the PNAC agenda for regime change in the middle-east retro to the Clinton admin. (and if they were not, WHY were they not?)

You can't just "retract" a misbegotten war by defunding it (or by apologizing.) To say that you can is utterly simplistic. But if simplistic is what you require, then I have to call it "the lesser of two sins"

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

so again- once you start, you can't stop. got it.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

One of those must-considers before you make your politically expedient decision to send other Americans off to die in an immoral war.

YES

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

so the war was immoral when it began but has become moral now?

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

now you're deliberately missing the point,

how convenient, 'mr circular argument'

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

It's the only way he can make his point. By drawing equivalency to what one does before a war begins with what happens after.  The only way he can possibly spin this is to say that every vote after a war begins is a "yes/no" question on starting a war, when the reality is every politician is going to think differently about what to do once it began.

Which is why the only way to have prevented this mess was to never have authorized it in the first place.  

But he can't allow that thinking to come in because it puts Obama's judgement above that of Edwards, and his brain will start blinking "Does Not Compute"

by dansac 2007-07-13 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Actually, it puts any number of peoples' judgment over Edwards besides Obama's...but that too.

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

You are using circular logic because you make assertions that reinforce themselves. The first decision was immoral, but the later decisions aren't immoral. When asked why? you repeat the same statement without like your cheerleader realizing that's what you are doing.

by bruh21 2007-07-13 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

try a tiny bit of critical thinking

Which is worse?

setting a fire (premeditatedly = arson)

...or

finding somewhat belatedly that it is your duty (afterall) to put out the fire someone else deliberately started...and all the while having difficulty with an already mal-functioning fire-extinguisher?

oh yes, and while the repentent arsonist stands on the sidelines yelling "Put it out, for God's sake, put it out NOW! WTF is wrong with you?"

by sybil disobedience 2007-07-13 11:40AM | 0 recs
The case for defunding

It has been easy for Democratic Senators to stand up and say they have to vote for funding the troops because to do otherwise would deprive soldiers in harm's way of bullets and armor and food, etc. "I'm against this war but I support the troops, that's why I am voting for this bill."

The response to this position is now and has always been "Bull shit!" By continuing to provide this Administration with every penny they have requested for the misadventure in Iraq, the Congress acted as enablers.

It has never been the case that voting against funding this war would have put soldiers in jeopardy or armor in short supply (that's a whole other issue for another day, again). Even the most stringent defunding efforts would not have deprived US military in harm's way of the equipment, supplies, etc. necessary but would have required that funds no longer be expended for escalation of troop numbers or continuation of troop levels in country.

Defunding is and has been about forcing Bush to either comply with moving troops out of Iraq or move monies from other parts of the Defense budget--both of which would be better than the situation we are in now.

Every Democratic Senator who has voted for defunding or voted against funding has stood against this war with far more courage than anyone making nice speeches. Those who have voted for funding are enablers.

by edgery 2007-07-13 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The case for defunding

Bush and the pentagon control how whatever money is spent or in the pipeline. If you don't think defunding will have negative consequences for the troops then you have not been paying attention to the extent Bush will go to manipulate public opinion. He has already established without a doubt that he doesn't care how many have to die. That's why it is not just some binary answer. I agree however that Obama should explain the votes that seem to favor continuation of this war.

by jazzyjay 2007-07-13 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The case for defunding

No funding limitation has ever been proposed that did not include language to provide adequate funds for the troops in harms way.  Of course BushCo can choose to undersupply troops for political points -- but it would never be because the Congress told him to do so.  That is the myth that the Republicans have spread and the MSM has carried to the people.  And it is made worse because Democratic legislators have used the same language rather than standing up against such dissembling.

We are not and have never been talking about "defunding the troops" - that is Rovian framing.  What has been proposed is to limit the ability of the President to continue to send new troops or to extend existing troops in Iraq.  It's called "defunding Bush's misadventure" or in the case of the 20 or so votes for funding cast by Clinton and Obama, continuing to enable Bush's insanity.

by edgery 2007-07-13 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama is focused on Hillary.  We are in a two-person race for the nomination.  

by aiko 2007-07-13 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

both of them are horrible.Obama is worse.If he is on the ticket we lose.

by lara 2007-07-13 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No matter what Obama says he is falling further and further behind as she pulls ahead.  People saw him as a fresh face and now they are getting tired of him.  It happens......

by changehorses08 2007-07-13 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama has the good judgment to lead this country in times like this.

Hillary and Edwards both lack that type of judgment they voted to drag us to Iraq.

Hillary more than anybody else, lacks the good judgment to be our commander-in-chief.  She didn't even bother to read the intelligence report.  Now she's started flip-flopping

by igwealth5tm 2007-07-13 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama has been flip-flopping as you put it for the past 3 years.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:34AM | 0 recs
I think You're Wrong

Jerome,

There are ways to oppose the war other than through defunding.  Obama sponsored a bill with a firm withdrawal date long before he voted to defund -- so I think you're really overgeneralizing.  Moreover, a lot of folks who are both popular with the netroots and definitively anti-war -- like Jim Webb -- disagreed with defunding for some legitimate reasons.  Not the least of which is that this administration has shown it is ENTIRELY willing to place/keep troops in harms way even if a defunding bill calls for withdrawal.  Recognizing that about the administration isn't playing into a GOP frame, it's simply noting that this President doesn't care about the human beings fighting his pointless war.

Anyway, that's my two cents.  I don't think this is a hit piece against Obama, and I respect your point of view, but I don't think you're criticisms are particularly accurate this time.  

by HSTruman 2007-07-13 08:22AM | 0 recs
Right on the mark

This is exactly what many of us were saying in Todd's post. Obama hasn't been a strong voice against the war as a Senator, actually very tepid, and him focusing on what he said in 2002 is bound to lead to a lot of questions on what he didnt do in 2005 and 2006 and his confusing turns on Iraq in 2007.

And if he is going to push the merits of what he said in 2002, then certainly everything he's said and done, and not done, since then is fair game. Voters are rightly going to ask, yeah you were against the war in 2002 when you didnt have a vote, but what happened when you got to the Senate?

Seems like a double edged sword and I think voters, especially in the early primary states, are not going to be fooled.

by okamichan13 2007-07-13 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Sometimes you make the right decision initially.  Sometimes you make a mistake - hopefully you eventually correct it.

If your name is George W. Bush you always get it wrong and then you refuse to correct it.  F

If your name is Hilliary Clinton you got it wrong on the AUMF and then refuse to correct your mistake by apologizing for it.  You get it wrong on war funding, but you eventually come around (following, not leading).  C-

If your name is John Edwards you got it wrong on the AUMF, but had the good sense to correct your mistake.  You also make the right decision on war funding and stick with it.  B-

If your name is Barack Obama you got it right on the AUMF.  You then proceed to make the wrong decision on war funding, but thankfully you fix it (and you vote before Hillary). B

Barack gets the better grade because I happen to think that getting it right on the AUMF was a weightier decision than funding bills.

Jerome your facts are correct, but the tone of your analysis doesn't have to be so negative.  Your give Barack very little credit for his decision to oppose the AUMF when it was an extremely unpopular stance.  He then messed up a little, but eventually got it right.  Cut the guy some slack.  I happen to think he still was the best performer on this issue of the presidential candidates.

by Tim Hendricks 2007-07-13 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Nope.  The funding came after the war was a fiasco.  Edwards saw that Bush did not follow through on the conditions of the AUMF and voted against the funding.  The vote was 88 to 12.  That was not politically popular and he was pilloried in the press for it.  Edwards was clear in the AUMF passed that Bush was to internationalize the confrontation with Saddam.  If Bush had done that there would have been no war.  

Edwards spoke up even though many have given him grief over it.  He has led on the pull out of Iraq voices.  He has passionately tried to correct his and others' mistake.

He gets at least a B+ in my book, possibly an A-.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

The 2003 emergency supplemental vote was never about withdrawal (see my post above).  This here is rewriting history.

by Ramo 2007-07-13 08:44AM | 0 recs
Exactly

It was about not giving him a "blank check." He said at the time he wanted Bush to present a "coherent strategy," not withdraw troops.

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

It was about continuing the fiasco.  Any pull back of funding limits the war.  And if the Democrats had held to that we would have been looking at this differently.

The vote was 88-12.  Difficult vote for Edwards.  Senator Edwards on Funding for Iraq.  Obama spoke up against that funding too.  Obama and the $87 Billion.  What he says is "at a certain point we need to standup to Bush or if we keep getting steamrolled we are not going to stand a chance."

My point about Obama is - was he steamrolled?  Why did he start voting for the funding.  Regardless of what the other Democrats were doing why was Obama not speaking up?  Feingold was and Obama undermined him.

I find that the Obama supporters go to great lengths to make Edwards wrong about the 2002 vote.  Edwards supporters agree with them.  But then somehow Obama's wrong votes are not that important.  That is what is intellectually dishonest.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Everyone knew damn well that Bush was going to use the AUMF to invade as quickly as possible.  It. was. obvious.  We all knew, at the time, the importance of the AUMF.

I'm grading the record.  Going forward I'm sure Edwards would do a fine job as president WRT Iraq.  I believe he has learned to trust his instincts as we can see from his funding votes.

Obama trusted his instincts initially then got a little awe struck in the Senate - getting paired up with LIEberman didn't help.  It looks like he too has returned to trusting his instincts.

I think they both have good judgement and are starting to really go with it.

by Tim Hendricks 2007-07-13 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Meh. Obama gets credit for opposing the AUMF, but it's not true to say that it was all that risky for him, especially for a state senator from a very liberal district of Chicago.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

He was running for the US Senate.  At a time when the war was very popular nation-wide.

by Ramo 2007-07-13 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I'm not saying that Obama made a political calculation on this, but if he had lost the Senate race, he could have still held his state senate race. He lost his first run for federal office, after all. It wasn't an overwhelmingly unpopular position in Illinois, either.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Nice analysis.

by Sam I Am 2007-07-13 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I COMPLETELY disagree with this take.  It's also doesn't make sense as Obama's not a one issue candidate.

And what does one make of this:

http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/2007/07/s en-clinton-john-edwards-our-guys.html

by zennie 2007-07-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Here's what I've never gotten about this argument.  People claim there is an inconsistency between the initial opposition and his votes in Congress on funding, and yet Obama has made it clear from the start they are two different issues.

1. The Opposition: was not from a peace position like Kucinich. As he said clearly in his speech, Obama is not against all Wars, just dumb Wars, and then goes on to analyze the situation, exactly, as to why this would be a wrong move.  This speech shows judgement, knowledge of foreign affairs, and an ability to take historical perspective and apply it to the present state of things.

2.  The Funding Votes: he explained throughout that we need to be as careful getting out as we were reckless going in.  He has never been for de-funding as a way to stop the war and has always been for passing a bill with a gradual withdrawal of troops.  That is what he has been working for and that is what Congress is congealing around - not de-funding.  At the same time it is inaccurate to say he has been working against de-funding as some sort of enemy. If he was Sen. Feingold would have not given him the praise he has for his efforts and accomplishments in the ultimate struggle to get our troops home.  The only time he has voted against de-funding was once we had a withdrawal bill passed.  This isn't a switch, it's a way of concentrating on getting the votes needed to overturn the withdrawal veto.

The people who look to make this an issue are trying to twist things by saying there is an inconsistency.  There is no inconsistency - he is not for using de-funding as a way out of Iraq. A leader does not become a leader by taking a stance he doesn't believe in.   You can argue his judgement is wrong, but I think there are two points which shows the faultiness of the de-funding approach.

1.  It is not an idea which is going to fly in Congress.  Just look at the difference in votes between the withdrawal vote and the de-funding vote.  It is not a good strategy even if he thought it was the best policy - which he does not.  His goal is to bring the kids home as soon as we can and de-funding is the slower route through Congress and this President.

2.  People talk about de-funding as if it is a stream of water we just turn off and suddenly there's no water so the troops have to come home.  That is not realistic.  De-funding would result in a gradual decrease of money as Bush could run around re-allocating money.  It eventually would come down to a game of chicken of how far will Bush allow the troops to have insufficient funding before pulling them back.  Or how far will Congress go before it blinked.  It is based on a belief that Bush gives a damn about the troops.  If he did why wouldn't every soldier in there already have the safer helmets that parent groups are running around to try to provide to their kids?  Why wouldn't we already have the better Humvees?   There is a certain responsibility that Obama has to the kids from Illinois, as well as the rest of the country, that he takes very seriously, which is why the funding bills have had earmarks in them for better equipment to try to protect them while working politically to bring them home.

I think everyone realizes that the solution to Iraq is not a military one, but a diplomatic or political one.  Obama's position on how to get our troops home the soonest and the safest applies the same principle here.  He has been working for a political solution and has done a very good job behind the lines in accomplishing that.  He doesn't compromise his principles in doing it.  He doesn't make enemies of people, like Feingold, who has an opposing point of view.   The position has been principled, consistent, and correct.

by DD2 2007-07-13 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

2.  The Funding Votes: he explained throughout that we need to be as careful getting out as we were reckless going in.  He has never been for de-funding as a way to stop the war and has always been for passing a bill with a gradual withdrawal of troops.

I agree--that about sums up where he was. As a Senator, for his first several months in office he was against defunding the war as this would not have been the ideal way to draw down forces. If you take issue with that, you take issue with that.

I always look at it like this: if Obama had been President at the time, we would not have had an Iraq war to argue about how best to end. If Edwards or Hillary had been President, we would.

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No, I don't think so. First off, Obama was against defunding for the first two years that he was in office, not the first couple of months. This, after he opposed funding in the first place.

And there's no reason to believe that we would be in Iraq if anyone other than Bush (or Cheney) was in office.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Did Bush and Cheney force Clinton and Edwards to vote for the war?

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

How about this?:

If we had 51 Senator Obamas in the Senate during the Iraq war vote, we wouldn't have an Iraq war to argue over how best to end.

If we had 51 Senator Edwards or Senator Clintons, we would.

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

That's debatable. Obama's position on funding changed after he entered the Senate - there's reason to believe he might have voted for an AUMF if he had been in the Senate, too. And who knows if Congressional opposition would have stopped Bush in 2004?

by clarkent 2007-07-13 09:05AM | 0 recs
If you are saying that Clinton...

or Edwards would have started the Iraq War, while Obama would not have, that is nonsense.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 09:15AM | 0 recs
Excellent point n/t

by ryan t 2007-07-13 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I agree with your analysis.

by jazzyjay 2007-07-13 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

We have to realize a distinction between "voting for funding" and "supporting the war." There are many of us who think that paying the armed forces (our men and women in Iraq) is important as long as they are there. I may not belive that that is right, but I understand that position. I also believe that a candidate can be against the war, want to plan for withdrawal, want to get out of there, and not have made the choice GWBush made to invade. I think both Obama & Clinton can in fact be against the war and be anti war candidates and still fund the stupid thing. The realities the everyday soldier would have to endure if funding was halted would be far greater than we all imagine. The process of getting everylast troop out of Iraq is going to take longer than we think as well. I think Edwards will have a hard time following up on campaign promises if he becomes president because of his rigid stances on funding and withdrawal times. Obama & Clinton are trying to vote according to how they would act in office, judge them kindly or not, but I do not think they are being coy about their views, just more pragmatic. Iraq is not black and white. Nothing is. Both of them have a more complicated view. Something our current idealogical president lacks. I want nuance brought back to the presidency as well as someone who listens to the country. Candidates are allowed to hear what we say and change thier stances accordingly, isn't that something we have wanted for the last 7 years?

by bisclavret 2007-07-13 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

There are many of us who think that paying the armed forces (our men and women in Iraq) is important as long as they are there.

This is a false choice. You can vote to defund without voting for soldiers to go without pay.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

But who in this scenario controls this, and who would use their power to make a political point even if it negatively affects the men and women on the ground.

by jazzyjay 2007-07-13 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I am not saying that this would be my choice, but I understand why people in power might be less inclined to jump the gun on defunding the war. I think there are greater implications that I just don't understand. Because I have great respect for Edwards, Obama, and Clinton, and I plan on seeing one of them reach the white house, I try my best to understand my own ignorance.

I also do not think that doing something sybolically for the sake of a cause is any better than doing the pragmatic choice. I value both and both tend to ultimately not lead to change.

Change occurs when power is assembled. Each candidate does not have the presidency as of yet. And,after watching Mr. Clinton, Bush Senior and Junior, I feel that no candidate know what will face them once they are in office. Need somehow necesitates policy priority. It all depends on how the ground looks. We cannot expect a would be president to know specifically how they will handle it until the moment arrives. We just need to make sure they have the same ultimate goal. All three in my opinion do.

I might be a bigger fan of Clinton, but thats my bias. I like what hse's done for Veteran's rights and hope to see that bipartisan effort expanded to healthcare etc. But I like policy more than politics. I'm not a fan of charisma, more a fan of intellegence, which all three do have. We have a great race in the Democratic party and some darn good candidates to boot.

I just wrote way too much, but then I'm a not used to blog writing, just blog reading.

by bisclavret 2007-07-13 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Agree, all I was trying to say is that we cannot trust Bush to not leave the troops without essentials just to prove that cutting the funding was a dangerous idea with bad consequences and those consequences are the fault of the "cut and run" Democrats. He has proved to me that he couldn't care less about who has to die to save his legacy. So dems have to be careful and thoughtful about this withdrawal.

by jazzyjay 2007-07-13 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

The issue is integrity.  Many of us are grateful that he was against the war when the other dems were  cowtowing to the GOP.

Edwards has been on both sides of several issues.  He did not start out as a progressive--far from it.  And Hillary makes decisions based on the polls and electability issues.

A lot of us believe that Obama is different.  That he is more likely--most likely to stay true to his principles.  He has integrity.  Is he perfect? No.  

by aiko 2007-07-13 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

But that is exactly what Jerome is saying that Obama has not been consistent with his principles.  

You haven't shown that he is.  You just claim that he is.  Obama seems to have been on both sides of the issue.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

If you think that voting for funding is a pro-war vote, then I guess you are right.

I don't happen to believe that.  

by aiko 2007-07-13 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

nevadadem wrote polling shows 52% of americans won't even CONSIDER voting for Hillary, should we bet the whole 2008 cycle hoping they aren't telling the truth?

This is so true.

If the democrats nominate Hillary, they'll lose the general election like they did in 2004.
Hillary has too much negatives to win the general elections.
52% of Americans don't like her and won't vote for her - wake up guys!!!

by igwealth5tm 2007-07-13 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Hillary keeps moving up in the polls precisely because people want a woman and they want a Clinton to fix this mess.  To say she can't win is only copying the media talking points.  If the media loves Obama its because they know he is the weakest Democrat.  They attack Hillary daily and pretend that Edwards does not exist--that means they are the two strongest candidates.  I would love to see a Clinton/Edwards ticket.

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I can somewhat understand why Obama supporters here consider this a hit piece. It directly questions the intelligence of Obama making Iraq the focus of his candidacy. Apparently in Obamaland this is a big no no. Ya don't question the Barack.

Jerome only brings to light the painfully obvious contradictions of Obama's claim to purity. He gave a great speech in 2002. He was right back then. Then he gets himself elected to the US Senate and proceeds to go against everything he stood for way back in 2002. Now, I don't have the slightest idea why he did this. From what I can tell he is intelligent enough to make his own decisions, so no one was holding a gun to his head. But then he decides to run for President and tries to switch back to the Barack of 2002 and hope no one notices that he had switched positions once again.

So aren't these valid observations? I know they don't make Obama look the strongest but they aren't distortions of his record or Neocon talking points. They are actual facts. I know... they're scary.

I think the main reason Obama keeps going back to the Iraq vote thingie is that it is a great applause line and it brings in the cash. And I'm sure if he talked about what he has done since that wonderful speech it wouldn't get too much applause.

by DoIT 2007-07-13 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

But Edwards voted for:

No Child Left Behind
The Iraq War
Corporate Bankrupcy Reform
Nuclear Waste at Yucca Mountain
Trade with China

Now Edwards says IT WAS A MISTAKE.  Edwards says he really is progressive--deep down.  Com'on folks you are deluding yourself.

by aiko 2007-07-13 08:57AM | 0 recs
Yep...

It seems you know Edwards better than Edwards himself.

Thanks for setting us all straight.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Yep...

I am sick to death of this purity bullshit--especially from the Edwards folks.   Edwards was a conservative democrat from North Carolina until he found progressive religion, around the time he decided to run for president.

Obama is consistent and transparent.

by aiko 2007-07-13 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Yep...

Please. Edwards was not a conservative Democrat, he was a populist from the get-go. A couple of professors of mine, two people who convinced me to oppose the war in the first place, voted for him in the primaries in 2004.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Yep...

His votes in the Senate speak for themselves.  It wasn't until got on the national stage that he suddenly became a progressive.

by aiko 2007-07-13 09:54AM | 0 recs
If Obama was from Kansas...

like his mom, or Clinton from Arkansas, then their records would not be so liberal.

Sorry if you don't like the comments.  Maybe you should look at your own, which are pretty disparaging, and you may better understand the replies.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

All of the candidates have some sort of plan to getting out of Iraq.

All say their are no good options.

So, to me the most important issue is , who had the best judgement of what would happen if we went to war in Iraq AND OCCUPIED THAT COUNTRY.

oBAMA'S SPEECH IN 2002 WAS MORE THAN BEING AGAINST THE AUF, But the predictions of what would happen after our invasion and the occupation thereafter.

He was right on!!

by BDM 2007-07-13 09:23AM | 0 recs
If you want to find fault

You can find fault with anyone.  Edwards and Clinton both voted for their share of downright vomitous bills.  

Edwards says his vote on the war was a mistake.  I accept that.  Case closed.  

Senator Clinton has yet to say that her vote for the war was a mistake.  She never will.  She's said all kinds of other words to that effect but she won't use that word.  In this respect, she's very Bush-like.

Does our president (or candidates) have to make zero mistakes? Can they never admit that they made a mistake when they screw up?

by ryan t 2007-07-13 09:53AM | 0 recs
Edwards' and Kerry's defunding votes

I seem to remember a certain candidate named Howard Dean running for President and beating Kerry and Edwards. The cynic in me says he may have had something to do with their need to vote for defunding

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-13 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' and Kerry's defunding votes

If that is so, does the cynic in you say that Obama voted against the funding this last time after voting for it before, is because of Edwards running and speaking out?  Is that why he put out his plan, because Edwards put out a plan?

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' and Kerry's defunding votes

Obama and Clinton voted against the funding this last time because it would have been political suicide to do otherwise.

They withheld their votes until late in case they were needed to pass it. They were 'allowed' to vote against it only it was deemed that their votes were not needed.

by ryan t 2007-07-13 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' and Kerry's defunding votes

He certainly helped them on their way to seeing the light.

by Tim Hendricks 2007-07-13 09:36AM | 0 recs
Ugh

Another conflation of an attack on strategy/message and an attack on Iraq voting purity. Obama is certainly doing the right thing strategically, even if it doesn't resonate here on the blogs.

Have we who were against the war from the start really forgotten how we felt at the time? I know I'd never felt so betrayed or disillusioned in my life. There is so much of a difference between voting wrong about a doctrinally disastrous war and voting to fund it after our troops are on the ground (Obama came in, of course, in 2004). One shows a complete disrespect for precedent or, frankly, the scientific method, and the other is representative of the longstanding Congressional condition of obedience to the President in wartime.

As Ted Kennedy has said, that war authorization vote was the most important he's ever cast. I couldn't agree more, and at least for me, having been right at that time is a HUGE deal.

by Jon 2007-07-13 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh

I remember how disgusted I was in 2003 when the war started. I was equally disgusted when Kerry beat Dean for the nomination. Most of the nation, however, originally supported the war and changed their mind.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh

Given Obama's votes in the senate, I don't know how he would have voted in 2002.  That is part of the question for me.  If he had been consistent he would be my candidate.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugh

"I never felt so betrayed or disillusioned in my life."

That's how I felt too.  

by aiko 2007-07-13 09:20AM | 0 recs
Ted Kennedy...

with his first bite at the apple...voted for Tonkin and to authorize Johnson in Vietnam.  In other words, he made a mistake.

His brother helped in the escalation of Vietnam.  In other words, he made a mistake.

I suspect that either Kennedy would get lots of votes for president.

Obama did not make a mistake because he was not in the position to cast a vote.  That does not make him immune.

Has Obama ever faced such a vote before, or for that matter, any crisis as an adult?  How do we have an inkling what he will do when that crisis actually comes?

From another view, at least Clinton and Edwards have already made and learned from their mistakes, not in starting a war, but giving the authorization that Bush himself abused.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Ted Kennedy...

Fair. Though, in the spirit of fairness, Edwards' learning from his mistake came after he was in a position to cast a vote.

by Jon 2007-07-13 09:50AM | 0 recs
As did the Kennedys'...

not to mention JFK's evolution after the mistake at the Bay of Pigs.

by citizen53 2007-07-13 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Obama's initial opposition to the war and his current Iraq stance is a large part of what makes him appealing to me. He has said that he is not anti-war, just anti this war, which, like Gore, shows good judgment on matters of war and peace. Many of his early supporters, and many in the media, assumed that because he opposed the invasion of Iraq he was anti-war in general, but since April those supporters seem to have noticed his more hawkish message and are leaving him.

The question of what tactic is most effective (Edwards outspokenness and de-funding, Obama's fund the troops and we need Republicans so don't call them out, Clinton's call Bush out and fund the troops) does not obscure that they all want to end the occupation as quickly and safely as possible.

Jerome's post here crystallizes for me why I prefer Clinton over Obama, or that matter Edwards, on Iraq. Everyone knows that Clinton voted for the war, will end the occupation, and will maintain some kind of presence in Iraq after withdrawal to defend Iraq's borders, fight terrorists, and protect our middle east interests. Obama and Edwards, in an attempt to preserve their anti-war reputation, use convoluted reasoning to blur the fact that they will do the same thing. Any president will make good and bad judgments in the course of their administration, but clearly communicating where you stand on important issues is critical to a successful presidency.

by souvarine 2007-07-13 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Everyone knows that Clinton voted for the war, will end the occupation, and will maintain some kind of presence in Iraq after withdrawal to defend Iraq's borders,

End the occupation yet leave troops in Iraq? It's a contradiction in terms.

by clarkent 2007-07-13 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

The estimates for this is between 490-60,000 troops occupying Iraq. These troops will be engaged in combat operations for carrying out the missions you state.

The nterroists are not in isolated pockets but in popilation centers and embeded in the secterian fighting.

Clinton's plan would be a long term occupation of Iraq.

She is a member of the Armed services committee and can get those estimates easily from the DOD. sHE CHOOSES NOT TO BECAUSE IT WILL SHOW THE SIZE OF THE RESIDUAL FORCE.

This is dis-honest by not revealing a estimate to what the size of a residual force would be in carrying out Clinton's mission's in Iraq.

by BDM 2007-07-13 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Both your and clarkent's points are very interesting but only serve to illustrate the point. Obama and Edwards both recognize the need to maintain some kind of presence in Iraq, but they obscure this to maintain the support of people like you.

by souvarine 2007-07-13 09:26AM | 0 recs
Jibe, Not Jive
    You ask "How does this turn to the past by Obama jive with his claim . . .?"  
    It's "Jibe", not "Jive".
by Ron Thompson 2007-07-13 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

When this site attacks Obama and his supporters cry foul, we are told that the criticisms are based on fact and that the author is trying to have an honest debate.

When Edwards is disparaged by the media or another blogger, we are told that his critics have bought into right wing talking points & don't know what they're talking about.

This is getting tiresome!!

by stuckinsf 2007-07-13 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Explain how Jerome has attacked Obama.  

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Is that a joke?  Because I laughed.  That's all he does anymore.  

by dansac 2007-07-13 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

attack=disagreement

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:30AM | 0 recs
David Sirota, who
is Satan to some of the Obama partisans, compared
A FEW (specifically only a very small number of Obama partisans) to "dittoheads" in a diary a while back.  Many are not like that, but a few demand worship. It is a cult of personality for that very small group.
by littafi 2007-07-13 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: David Sirota, who

i see the same amongst some Edwards and Clinton supporters so I don't think its candidate specifc. I just see it as way at rationalization and not wanting to be criticized- I think people just take it personally because they are emotionally vested

by bruh21 2007-07-13 09:43AM | 0 recs
Such crap

Every candidate has their hero worshippers (Edwards doesn't?).

I believe every candidate needs scrutiny and criticism, that's what a campaign is for.

That is not what Jerome does.  He posts criticism almost solely about Obama, twists facts to fit his viewpoint, and pretends to write these "objective analysis" pieces which are anything but.

I have no problem with any challenge or disagreement on Obama or any other candidate.  But Jerome doesn't challenge or disagree Obama, he attacks him frequently, solely, unfairly, and above all, dishonestly.

by dansac 2007-07-13 09:43AM | 0 recs
Your comment exemplifies my point.

Jerome is so mean to Barack.  Give me a break.

Bruh above you had a reasonable comment.  

You are lost in attacking the messenger (Jerome) rather than addrssing the message.

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:22AM | 0 recs
But I am attacking the messenger

When someone posts a series and pattern of dishonest attacks for the sake of attacking, addressing the message just means you're buying into his game.

I am attacking the messenger - Jerome has turned from a once credible blogger to something far sadder.

And I have no problem with criticizing Barack Obama or any other candidate.  I have a deep problem with solely criticizing one candidate, doing it dishonestly, and pretending that it is just part of "honest and impartial analysis," which it's not.  

No impartial person can look at this race thus far and say that Obama's initial opposition to the war isn't a factor in the race.  Like him or not, it's a factor.  

Jerome pretending it's not is an example of wishful thinking, couching his hope for an outcome as reality, when there's no evidence to support that.  What's more, doing it in the pattern that he does, and pretending it's honest news analysis, is totally dishonest.

My problem is not with criticism of Obama, it's with Jerome.

by dansac 2007-07-13 11:58AM | 0 recs
the GOP must be salivating at this post


what is wrong with this post?

because it never gives voice to barack's speeches in 2005, 2006 calling for phased redeployment.

it is also why senators never win presidential elections.

by pmb 2007-07-13 09:06AM | 0 recs
by DANIELLECLARKE 2007-07-13 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

leave this blogger and come over to mine at newsvine

http://danielleclarke.newsvine.com/_news /2007/07/13/834890-renewing-american-lea dership-by-barack-obama-july-august-2007 ?threadId=125085&cmt=862918#c862918

""Summary: After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.

by DANIELLECLARKE 2007-07-13 09:11AM | 0 recs
That statement concerns me.

That seems at odds with the 2002 speech.  Is this why Robert Kagan has been complimenting Obama lately?

If Obama partisans cannot debate Obama's votes and changing psoitions, maybe they will be happier in a website like Danielle Clark's.  It may be like a church, but they can be assured no one will confront them on their beliefs.

Or they can stay here and debate on the merits.  

by littafi 2007-07-13 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

It bothers me a bit too and I think he is a bit misleading- it's like he wants people to know his first stance on Iraq and the last one where he and Hillary voted against funding and wants to leave out the middle where he kept voting for funding, which leads some people to think he was adamantly opposed to it all from start to finish.  If he was really so against it as he makes himself out to be, he wouldn't have voted to keep funding it.  The truth is, all three big candidates (Edwards, Clinton, Obama) have had their hands dirty at some point with the war.

by reasonwarrior 2007-07-13 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

If Obama is bothering the HRC supporters he's doing something right. In thier world we can't debate issues or judgement or anything only whop has the "most experience" so I'm glad Obama has touched this nerve.

by nevadadem 2007-07-13 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

But not as bad as those who voted for the AUF AND WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST DEFENDERS OF THE PRESIDENTS POLLICIES UNTIL RECENTLY WHEN SHE DID A 180 DEGREE TURN.

by BDM 2007-07-13 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yes--no one has clean hands on this.  However, the Republicans appear to get a pass.  Every Republican candidate still supports this war and the media has no problem with that,  Its a loser move to continue to march in lock-step with Bush and against the American people.  So why are they doing this?  Instead of writing our Dem Congress why not write and call the Republicans and ask them why they continue to support this.

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

We have fad to fund the war, and still have to.  I think defunding the war is a stupid idea, because we have an insane president who will allow troops to die in Iraq until congress turns the funding back on.  Congress must pass directives for withdrawal attached to funsing bills - they just can't not give Bush money.

And, while we have to pull out we cannot just shut down one day.  A withdrawal should take up to a year with a small force protecting our national interest and fighting bacl Al Queda.  It is the policing operations that U.S. troops need to stop.

by gb1437a 2007-07-13 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Responsible voices from all parts of the political spectrum are coming forth to say this in increasing numbers.

Colin Powell had the courage to call his presentation to the United Nations on Iraq a "blot" on his distinguished record. And recently John Edwards said he made a mistake in voting to go to war in Iraq, and accepted responsibility for this decision.

It is no coincidence that both Mr. Edwards and Mr. Powell no longer serve the government in Washington. Those of us in Washington are falling behind the debate that is taking place across America on Iraq. We are failing to provide leadership on this issue.

Iraq was a major issue in last year's election.

But that election is now over.

We need to stop the campaign.

The President could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people "Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, there are things I would have done differently. But now that we're here, I am willing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to find the most responsible way out."

Nearly four decades ago, John F. Kennedy took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He admitted that mistakes had been made. He didn't spend a good deal of time publicly blaming the previous Administration, or the other party, or his critics. And through these decisive actions, he earned the respect of the American people and the world - respect that allowed his diplomacy to be trusted a few years later during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

http://www.barackobama.com/2005/11/22/mo ving_forward_in_iraq.php

by clarkent 2007-07-13 09:22AM | 0 recs
They aren't being straight with you...

Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are all trying to appeal to primary voters who want out of Iraq as soon as possible.

So what are their specific withdrawal plans? Where are they getting their numbers from? How many troops must stay behind and for what specific purposes? Do they have a political plan to address what happens in the region for after these troops leave Iraq?  How do they plan on engaging other regional powers in order to stabilize Iraq? Do they believe the US bears any responsibility for what happens after troops are out?  Are they concerned that a failed state in Iraq will become a disaster for the region and a threat to the US?  This is complicated stuff, but they aren't telling you much more than "I'll end the war."

by CaveDweller 2007-07-13 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Thanks for voicing some of my similar criticisms.

by jsamuel 2007-07-13 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yes, more than "hope" too.

by jsamuel 2007-07-13 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Paying the fighting soldiers (aka, funding the war), is way different from authorizing the war.

Obama continues to vote to pay our soldiers.

He opposed the war from the start and has consistently done so up to this very moment.

Hillary is flip-flopping.  I like her a lot as New York Senator; she cannot be a president.

Hillary cannot be our commander-in-chief, she's a flip-flopper!!!

Edwards wanted the congress to cut-off the soldiers' paycheck?  That is an awesome record  for "the champion of the poor" who authorized to send our soldier to a mission and turns back to stop their paycheck.

by igwealth5tm 2007-07-13 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Nonsense, not approving Bush's multiple "emergency" funding requests would have NEVER put any soldier's paycheck in jeopardy.  Where on earth did you get that ridiculous idea?  The "emergency" funding requests were specifically to fund sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, and funding operations in those theaters, along with a myriad of other bogus costs that should have always been in the regular DOD budget requests.

Not approving the request is saying, "I don't agree with how you are executing this policy and plan to spend this money. Go back and do it again and send me something sensible." Bush then has the choice of doing just that, or raiding one area of the DOD budget to fund another. And the area to be raided would never have been paychecks or bullets or armor. That everyone keeps buying into that is proof of nothing more than allowing ourselves to continue to be bullied into submission.

Put it back on the Administration: "We have told you to change the policy and we will provide you with the funds to do so. Continue this policy and we won't. The choice is yours."  Congress does this all the time in other areas.

by edgery 2007-07-13 10:28AM | 0 recs
Read this...

http://www.juancole.com/2004/07/john-edw ards-and-iraq-war-now-that.html

Q: After voting to authorize the president to go to war in Iraq in 2002, you voted last fall against an $87 billion expenditure to support the troops there and aid the anti-terrorism effort. Why aren't they inconsistent?

EDWARDS: Because I said before the first resolution was ever voted on in the Congress, that in order for this effort to be successful it was absolutely critical that when we reached this stage that it be international, that it not be an American occupation. And so long as it was that, we'd see the problems we've seen right now. Bush needed to change course. We needed to have the UN in charge of the civilian authority.

Q: So was it a protest vote?

EDWARDS: It was not a protest vote. Had I been the deciding vote, I would have voted exactly the same way. Because what would have happened, had that occurred, is the president would have immediately come back to the Congress with a plan, changing course. We came to the point where we had to stand up and take responsibility.
Q: Please respond to the variety of opinions expressed by your rivals on the Iraq war.

EDWARDS: Leadership is standing up for what you believe in. I believe Saddam was a threat; I voted for the congressional resolution. Then the president says, "I want $87 billion." I am not willing to give a blank check.
Partial yes on $87B-irresponsible to not support troops
Q: [Bush asked for] $87 billion for the ongoing war on terrorism. Your vote, yes or no?

EDWARDS: We have young men & women in a shooting gallery over there. It would be enormously irresponsible for any of us not to do what's necessary to support them. When we went into Iraq, the US assumed a responsibility to share with our allies the effort to reconstruct. That does not mean Bush should get a blank check.

I will vote for what's necessary to support the troops. But we have a lot of questions that have to be answered first. We have to find out how he plans to bring our allies in, how much control he plans to give up, and what is our long-term plan there.

Q: So you might vote for something less than $87 billion and cut off money for reconstruction?

EDWARDS: I will vote for what needs to be there to support our troops who are on the ground. I will not vote for the additional money unless we have an explanation about what we're going to do to share the cost with our allies.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003
Q: If we cannot get international forces to Iraq, should we increase the US presence or leave?

EDWARDS: I don't accept that premise. We have to have the help of our friends and allies around the world. [First], to help relieve the burden on American troops and be able to bring some of these troops home. Second, to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer. We need to lead in a way that brings others to us and creates respect for America, because at the end of the day [that will make] a safer world.
Q: Will you vote yes or no on the president's request for $87 billion to continue the effort in Iraq?

EDWARDS: Well, I'm going to do what has to be done to make sure our troops get what they need, but not without the president telling us how much this is going to cost over the long term, how long we're going to be there and who is going to share the cost with us.

Q: So if the president says, "I need $87 billion to protect the troops," you're ready to say yes to that?

EDWARDS: It would be irresponsible not to do what needs to be done to protect our troops. But having said that, it would also be irresponsible not to do something to stop this president from giving billions of dollars in American taxpayer money to companies like Halliburton in unbid contracts.

by icebergslim 2007-07-13 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Read this...

thank you! thank you! thank you!

the revisionist history lessons can stop now.

Back then, Edwards felt the same way about funding for the troops as Obama did later. He would not have defunded the troops to force an end to the war.

by JoeCoaster 2007-07-13 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Read this...

B.S.  Back then, the debate was not about "withdrawing" from Iraq, so Edwards should have felt that way.  For the past 2 years, the debate has constantly been about leaving Iraq, so Obama shouldn't feel that way.

There is always enough money available to withdraw troops from Iraq, even if you vote to cut of the funds.  Likewise, if you vote to cut of the funds, you can pass an emergency supplemental to remove troops if necessary.

There is always money available to remove troops, even if you vote to cut off funds.

That has been the debate for most of Obama's time in the Senate.  It was not the debate for Edwards'.

by OE 2007-07-13 02:51PM | 0 recs
Richardson's Voice on Iraq Needs to be Considered

This is obviously an important issue and I'm glad you raised it.  I'm a Richardson supporter, and want to point out you should include Richardson in your review.  This is a four person race.  Richardson is polling in Iowa close to where Kerry was at this time in 2003.

And what Richardson had to say on Iraq immediately prior to the invasion - as is the case with all the candidates - gives us an insight into his decision-making process on the most important decision taken by our government this decade.

Richardson has offered a crystal clear approach to Iraq - complete withdraw combined with a diplomatic offensive.  As noted by the Rocky Mountain News Richardson stated in Iowa:

While all the other Democrats call for an end to the conflict, Richardson goes a step further by saying virtually every American soldier - with the exception of Marine embassy guards - should be pulled out by the end of the year. He is pressuring congressional Democrats to pass a resolution by the end of the summer revoking authority for the war.

Richardson also addressed the question of the process he would employ if as President he believed war necessary:

If I am president, I would only go to war if I get authority from Congress. If you go to war, it's my view that first you exhaust every diplomatic option, you exhaust mediation, even sanctions, build international support for your goals.  I would not hesitate to go to war if it preserved the security of this country, but I believe this administration has been too trigger-happy. And I would use diplomacy.

Richardson has been consistent on the primacy of diplomacy in conflict resolution.  Specifically, on Iraq, Richardson advocated that the U.S. explore all diplomatic avenues, including returning to the U.N. and developing support within the Security Council for U.S. objectives.  Under the U.N. Charter, only the Security Council can authorize a member state to wage war.  

Richardson's view, that the U.S. had to return to the U.N. and directly place the question of invading Iraq to a vote before the Security Council prior to commencing hostilities, was vehemently opposed by many in Congress, including John Edwards, and also opposed by Hillary Clinton, and ultimately rejected by President Bush.  We invaded Iraq without U.N. autorization.

On March 11, 2003, eight days before President Bush announced the U.S. was at war with Iraq, Richardson was interviewed on CNN.  He urged patience and diplomacy, criticizing the Bush Administration's rush to war. This was a courageous statement.  At this time, polls showed most Americans supported going to war and were highly critical of the U.N.

Richardson defended the work of the U.N., explaining unilateral U.S. military action in Iraq would undermine the U.N., hurt the prestige of the U.S. abroad and negatively impact our post-war reconstruction effort:

CROWLEY: I want to ask you the question, first, if there is no Security Council resolution approving of a war on Iraq, and if the Bush administration should go ahead, who loses in that scenario?

RICHARDSON: Well, I think the United Nations loses because it shows a lack of relevance to this crisis.

And, secondly, I think, Candy, that the United States loses because we're going into a major conflict without the blessing of the U.N. Security Council, without some of our major allies like France and Russia, and also those 10 other members of the Security Council, the 10 non-permanent members that have a voice right now.

So I think it would come at considerable cost especially if we're to win the war, which we would, issues relating to a post-Iraq configuration to the prestige of the United States worldwide to bring some kind of order to the Middle East and bring some kind of Persian Gulf-lessening attention. So, I think everybody would be a victim. The United Nations, the United States and, certainly, our NATO allies. I think would be hurt, too, because if they don't support us the breakdown of the NATO alliance might be next to go.

CROWLEY: Well, I want to cite a couple of figures for you. One of them just came from a CBS/New York Times poll, which showed that right now only about 34 percent of Americans believe the U.N. is doing a good job handling this situation.

Fifty eight percent think it's doing a poor job. On top of that, we also found that 55 percent would support an invasion, even if the Security Council says don't do it. What does that say about how Americans view the U.N., and has that changed since you were the ambassador?

RICHARDSON: Well, the United States as a populous, here in new Mexico, there's not much support for the United Nations. But at the same time, Candy, what everyone should understand is the United Nations does a lot of things that we, the U.S. as the only superpower, don't want to do.

They get involved in conflicts in Kosovo, in the Congo in Africa, in Guatemala and Latin America. Immigration issues, AIDS, refugees. We don't want to get directly involved in these, but we use the arm of international support, legitimacy of the United Nations to do it.

Now, in the Persian Gulf, conveniently, the U.N. supported our efforts in 1991 to get a broad coalition. And I think we've used the U.N. in the war on terrorism to get international support.

But clearly in this Iraq crisis, the U.N. has to step up and simply enforce its [1441] resolution. And it's not doing that. So, it's going to be a big loss for the U.N. in terms of its peacekeeping relevance, unless it really steps up and gets tough on Saddam Hussein. I think that's the issue.

CROWLEY: So, am I right, am I hearing you correctly that you believe that the U.N. Security Council should pass the resolution that Britain and the U.S. are proposing?

RICHARDSON: Well, I would go a little differently, Candy. I think the U.S. and Britain should compromise. That's the essence of diplomacy. To get nine votes, if it means postponing for 30 days, or 15 days or 10 days, a new resolution with benchmarks on Iraq's behavior, let's do it. I think that France and Russia are basically gone.

They are going to veto. But it would be a partial victory if we get nine votes for a victory of a majority in the Security Council. If we don't do that, I think it's going to be tremendous prestige loss overseas. I think, domestically, it's going to cause more problems for the administration. The Congress will be divided. This is a time when it's frustrating, but what's the rush, really. Iraq is not heading down Baghdad into the United States.

Again, it is a threat, but it's not an immediate threat. It's not something that is like the war on terrorism, where we're under alert from a potential terrorist attack in this country. So let's be judicious. Let's be calm. Let's be patient.

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-07-13 09:51AM | 0 recs
Perhaps a comment that

long fits better as a diary.  

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:15AM | 0 recs
Another Hit on Obama by MyDD

It's getting to be an old hackneyed habit now, lacking in all credibility. Ho-hum.. they're trying to slice away at Obama again and without much success.

by cmpnwtr 2007-07-13 09:52AM | 0 recs
Why is talking

about his support for funding the war an attack?

I will not worship Barack Obama.  He is just a man.  He can be criticized.

by littafi 2007-07-13 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Why is talking

What the hell? No one, no one is advocating for this "Obama worship." As we've stated, this post is unfair because it presents some facts and not others, and positions itself as an objective analysis when in fact it has a very particular viewpoint. There's a difference between worship and just wanting a fair view, and it's high time you realized this.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 10:47AM | 0 recs
All posts present

some facts.  That is an absurd criticism.  

If you have other facts to present, do so.

Bottom line is Obama got into office and repeatedly voted to fund the war.  He was good in 2002, or appeared that way, but went in the wrong direction once elected.  Now he wants to use war as a political issue.  His record since being elected in 2004 is identical to Clinton.  That is a fact.

by littafi 2007-07-13 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: All posts present

Saying "but went in the wrong direction once elected" is again opinion, not fact. I agree that he could have been more outspoken about the war, but I disagree that voting for funding is the same as supporting the war. My point was, Obama supporters don't worship Obama but we do obviously support him - and we don't want to see his positions misrepresented and disguised as analysis, which is no doubt how you Edwards folks feel when you complain about the media's reports on him.

by This Machine Kills Fascists 2007-07-13 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: All posts present

Well said.  What Jerome is doing in regards to Obama is as dishonest as what the MSM does frequently in regards to Edwards and so many other Dems.  It's not whining to point out that something is patently dishonest and unfair.

by dansac 2007-07-13 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I don't support Obama for President, although I think he has a good shot at being Vice-President.

BUT ... I get the feeling that Jerome does like to start fights on this blog.  Surely he knew that a diary such as this one would pit the Obama supporters against the Edwards' supporters, and vice versa.

Hey, I have no problem with this.  And I am sure Hillary doesn't either.

Keep fighting folks!!!

by Regan 2007-07-13 10:23AM | 0 recs
Iraq is the Issue

Obama voted against Kerry-Feingold
Just like Clinton.
Edwards told ABC's This Week that he supported it.

Obama told CT Dems that they should have the "good sense" to re-elect his "mentor" Joe Lieberman. Even though Obama had made it clear he knew where Lieberman stood on foreign policy he endorsed him anyway.
Just like Clinton.
Edwards stayed neutral in the primaries and was
the first major Democrat to campaign for Lamont.

Obama's campaign has stated that they will not deny reports that Obama led a standing ovation (this is not a normal event by any stetch of the imagination) for Lieberman when he returned to the Senate.

Obama stopped short of calling for funds for the surge to be cut off.
Just like Clinton.
Edwards was vocally for cutting off surge funds.

Obama voted for the Gregg amendment.
Just like Clinton.
Edwards made it clear that he supported using the "power of the purse" to cut off funding.

Obama had to be prodded into supporting Reid-Feingold
Just like Clinton.
Edwards made it clear that he supported it as a first step but he wanted to go further.

Obama played politics with the Capitulation Bill.
Just like Clinton.
Edwards was vocally opposed to it from the start.

It's called leadership.
Obama has failed to show it time and time again.
Edwards shows it time and time again.

Iraq is the issue.
And Edwards is clearly the winner.

by Progressive Populist 4 Edwards 2007-07-13 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq is the Issue

Interesting that time starts in 2005 for Edwards supporters.

by JoeCoaster 2007-07-13 10:46AM | 0 recs
make that 2006

...

by JoeCoaster 2007-07-13 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq is the Issue

There was not a sitting Senator that endorsed Lemont over Lieberman in the Primary.  Obama did not endorse nor campaign for Lieberman in the general, and mostly stayed neutral.

As far as the Kerry-Feingold amendment, the same argument can be used here that is used when Obama says he would have voted no on AUMF.  Edwards said he would support it, but ultimately we don't know if thats the truth.  Like Obama with AUMF, I believe him, but there is no 100% proof.

The Gregg Amendment is personal opinion... I am not convinced the power of the purse will end this war without the ability to impeach behind it.  Bush ignores congress and the people all the time and won't hesitate to make up some imaginary power to take the funds from elsewhere... probably a social program.

Edwards being a leader on Iraq is your opinion.  I and many other disagree with it.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Interesting Article Jerome.  I don't think its attacking as some have claimed.  It will be really interesting to se how his strategy plays out in the next few months.

The one issue I have with this is that it doesn't address one very big thing...  Not everyone believes that voting for funding was a vote for continuing the war.  I know I don't and I know there are a number who agree with me.  Ultimately, its going to be whether that belief within the party is shared, or if your belief is held that will determine if his strategy works.  

I don't have a problem with the funding votes, because I still think even if the funding is taken away, Bush and his great abuse of power will just take the money.  He has shown he doesn't mind defying congress before, what will stop him now.  Worse yet, he may not put the necessary money in to protect the soldiers with equipment and with armor.  Given what I believe, I can easily give a pass to all of those who vote for the funding bills, Hillary, Obame, etc.  The vote was a pragmatic one because this war won't end until there is enough to override a veto, and even then it might take impeachment.  Bush has no problem defying congress, so for this instance, I am ok with the pragmatic vote.  This is all a matter of opinion of course.  

Now the fact he didn't vote for the Kerry amendment last year does bother me a bit... I don't consider it nearly as bad as the AUMF, but it certainly isn't a positive vote either.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 10:42AM | 0 recs
Levin-Reed amendment

The constant refrain that he didn't support Kerry-Feingold is not accurate in presenting his position at that time.  He has always favored a more pragmatic approach that understands it is going to take Republicans of good conscience to side with us to get a bill passed.  That is why he was for the Levin-Reed amendment which also didn't pass, it failed 60-36, but came closer than the Kerry-Feingold one, which failed at 86-13.  The only difference between the two was Kerry-Feingold called for a date certain to get the troops out and Levin-Reed merely called on the president to submit a troop-exit plan by the end of the year. The intent was to send a clear message to the President it was time to change course.  The difference between the two is one of strategy of how to best get the Congress to get the troops out in the earliest possible date, not the difference of being for or against the War as his vote is often misrepresented.

by DD2 2007-07-13 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Levin-Reed amendment

He voted the party line... I know he supported Levin-Reed, which was the party line.  I liked the Kerry amendment better and would have prefered he support that one.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Levin-Reed amendment

Well he's not in there thinking about what you prefer, or I prefer.  He's in there thinking about how does he best get this moved to a place he wants it to be.  The people inside understand what he's doing, which is why Feingold himself went out of his way to praise his work.  If he compromises on his principles I will call him out on it.  But what I object to is the portrayal of his votes as somehow being for the War or Bush's agenda.

by DD2 2007-07-13 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Levin-Reed amendment

Please tell me in my posts where I said he did this?  I'd like to know, because you seem to be seeing something that isn't there.

And I expressed my personal opinion on a specific piece of legislation.  And since he IS my senator, he does care about what his constituents prefer.  He made his choice and I disagree with it.  Its as simple as that.  He's still my Senator and my choice for President.

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-13 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Levin-Reed amendment

I didn't mean to imply you were.  I apologize if that's how it reads.  

by DD2 2007-07-13 02:48PM | 0 recs
Reality

Politicans are inconsistent, at least those who are succesful. Winston Churchill wrote an excellent piece on the topic in his work "Amid these storms". They must recognize the reality of every situation they face, whether this means realizing that one doesn't have the votes to beat a piece of legislation, or admitting that a issue one feels strongly about is not a winner at the ballot box.

Whats interesting is that Edwards, who voted for the war initally, resisted making any calls for withdrawing from Iraq until he essentially was in a position where he could do little to accomplish it. Edward's "anti-war sentiment" also appeared to corralate with public opinion. Obama, on the other hand, opposed what was a poplar war at the time, and yet when polls show a clear mandate to end the war he never wanted, Obama has been more cautious in his approach to doing so. The conclusion I come to is that he, like Clinton, recognize just how volital a situation the middle east is right now, and while that is largely our responsibility, we can still do plenty more to screw it up.

by bjschmid 2007-07-13 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Reality

I disagree with you on who is the better choice at this time and your assessment of what could happen in the middle east - it is a disaster and we can't fix it.  

However this is one of the more honest and pragmatic defenses of Obama I have seen.

You are right, that politicians can be inconsistent and this may make them more successful.  Sticking to a wrong policy as Bush has is so dysfunctional and leads us to failure.  

Far better to recognize that we make our decisions on who to support with a wide range of circumstances rather than try to make one decision be the defining one.  It then leaves open all other decisions that on not consistent with it to attack rather than to look at context.  

There are many positive attributes of Obama and Edwards and Clinton.  There are other aspects we may not like as well.  Expecting perfection or claiming perfection is bound to create controversy and debate that may not be helpful.

by pioneer111 2007-07-13 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Can we be a little more honest here?

Edwards did not want to end the war in 2003.  When he voted against the $87 billion, it was not because he wanted to defund the war, it was because he wanted to use Congress' leverage as a way to force Bush to reach out to our allies instead of going it alone.

Similarly, none of us will ever forget the flap over Kerry voting for the funding before he voted against it.  But we should also remember that the principled reason he voted against it was that he preferred to pay for the war by rolling back the tax cuts, rather than with deficit spending.  He certainly wasn't trying to end the war by defunding it.

There were only 12 votes against the $87 billion funding bill.  I don't know that a single one of those Senators was actually trying to end the war by defunding it.  I have my doubts.

It was correct for these Senators to try and use their leverage to force Bush onto a better course, but let's not go pretending like Edwards turned against the war way back in 2003, or that Obama was a supporter once he joined the Senate.  I don't think we've ever had a real vote to end the war until this year.

by Steve M 2007-07-13 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Let me get this straight: "Edwards did not want to end the war in 2003.  When he voted against the $87 billion, it was not because he wanted to defund the war, it was because he wanted to use Congress' leverage as a way to force Bush to reach out to our allies instead of going it alone."

In other words, you are saying that Edwards disagreed with the way that Bush was conducting the war in Iraq, so he decided not to give him any more money?

Sounds like a good thing to me.  

ON THE OTHER HAND, Obama voting to fund the war would mean that he either approved of the way that Bush was conducting it, or was too afraid to vote against funding like Edwards did, and Kucinich consistently has.  

by OE 2007-07-13 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

No, that's not what I'm saying.  In fact, that's a pretty absurd take on what I'm saying.  Edwards was 100% determined to fund the war, just like every other Senator in 2003.

by Steve M 2007-07-13 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Iraq IS the issue and every person who voted to send our soldiers to their death need to be held accountable.

What is wrong with us that we are so willing to allow politicians to make such HUGE mistakes and we defend them and want to reward them?

As I listen to the news every day, and I realize more and more what a huge mistake this war was -- I want to hold those responsible for it accountable.  They need to answer for this incredible mistake.

Would you defend the candidates who voted to authorize the Iraq war if it was your parent, your sibling, your spouse, your child, your friend or your neighbor who was sentenced to death because they didn't bother to read a report?

How can you guys defend those people?  My God, Al Qaeda is back to full strength.  What were the candidates who authorized the war resolution thinking about?

Do you really want to excuse a U.S. Senator or Representative, running for the highest office in the world, for not reading the National Intelligence Estimate report before casting such a critical vote?  

We punish our children for lesser crimes.

Stop taking sides and think about who's on your side, our side, the soldier's side, the country's side.

None of the presidential candidates who voted for the Iraq war resolution deserve to be rewarded with the job of leader of the free world -- none of them -- regardless of what they say today.  

What matters is what they said in 2002 -- what they did in 2002.  It is a clear indication that they lack the foresight, judgment and the political will to assume such an incredible awesome position.

Why on earth would we even consider rewarding any of them?  Not only should they not be rewarded with the presidency, but also they should lose their current job.

It's about foresight and judgment - not personality and whom I like.  Do we really want to risk voting for another GWB - someone who is incompetent and lacks good judgment?

Remember in 2000 it was all about whom you want to have a beer with?  How ridiculous.  Just look at what we ended up with.

Please stop taking sides and hold these candidates accountable.  

Do you think you would get a promotion on your job if you made such a huge mistake?  Do you think you would even still have a job?

You wouldn't!  You would be FIRED!  

We may not be able to fire the candidates who authorized the war, but we can certainly not promote them.

by ItsTimeToTurnThePage 2007-07-13 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

If you are going to ask Clinton "How come you voted for war funding until this last time?"  you have to ask Obama the exact same question.   He has been adament about opposing a "day certain" until late last year, and voted for war funding every time it was on the docket.  Yes, it is correct that he was against the war initially, but after that one he voted and talked pretty hawkish.   Not that I necessarily think it a bad thing, given the circumstances, but he can't sell himself as a dove alongst the lines of Kucinich/Gravel.  

by georgep 2007-07-13 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

What example do you have of him talking pretty hawkishly? How does his voting for the Levin-Reed amendment make him voting hawkishly?

by DD2 2007-07-13 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

He was speaking against instituting a "date certain" last year and has gradually changed his position on the war:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2007/01/31 obama%E2%80%99s-war-dance

Obama's War Dance

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/01/ sweet_column_obama_once_oppose.html

by georgep 2007-07-13 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I think it's ridiculous that people are talking about the war funding votes like they make a difference in this context.  Edwards didn't vote against the $87 billion funding bill because he wanted to end the war.  Neither did Kerry.  They voted against it because they thought there were more responsible ways to fund the war, and they were probably right, but I don't know if there was one single Senator who voted against funding the war because they wanted to end the war then and there.

Do you know who else voted in favor of the $87 billion funding bill?  RUSS FEINGOLD.  I suppose Edwards was against the war before Feingold was?

by Steve M 2007-07-13 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I'm not falling for this one. What a joke.

by BlueDiamond 2007-07-13 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I agree.  Dennis Kucinich is the "ONLY" Democrat who has been consistently against the war in Iraq.

You can't be against it and vote over and over again to fund something that you say you are "against."

Barack Obama owns the war just as much as the rest of them, regardless of what he says.

by OE 2007-07-13 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yeah, but if memory serves no Senators (including those against the war from the beginning and voted against the IWR) voted to actually cut off funding until... 'recently.'

So no US Senators have been against the war, consistently.  

by Newsie8200 2007-07-13 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

And by this I mean, that people voting against the $87B weren't voting to end the war. Those weren't their intentions.

The best spin: It was a protest vote against Bush's like of a plan.

The worst spin: To keep Dean from running away with the anti-war vote.  

by Newsie8200 2007-07-13 06:04PM | 0 recs
arg. lack not like.

by Newsie8200 2007-07-13 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

All this tells me is that we Democrats do not have a single declared candidate that knows enough about foreign policy, military options, and constitutional history to be president.      

by mgmrochester 2007-07-13 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Only if you only consider Edwards, Obama and Clinton.

With Richardson we get two for the price of one - a seasoned diplomat that knows how to bring nations together to resolve differences and a can-do leader on domestic issues.

by Stephen Cassidy 2007-07-13 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Tell me which Republican candidates have the credentials to run this country's foreign policy.

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

by mgmrochester 2007-07-13 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq Is The Easy Issue

How easy it is for candidates such as Obama to prove his metal by crying out that he was the first to be against this war while others voted for it.  Blah blah blah.  This is getting as tired as "We need to get them over there before they get us over here." While we allow the candidates from both parties to attack each other on who has the purest Iraq policy, more Americans are going bankrupt, more corporations are moving out the the country and more people continue to lose their healthcare.  Make the candidates talk about these issues.  

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Iraq Is The Easy Issue

How easy it is for candidates such as Obama to prove his metal by crying out that he was the first to be against this war while others voted for it.  Blah blah blah.  This is getting as tired as "We need to get them over there before they get us over here." While we allow the candidates from both parties to attack each other on who has the purest Iraq policy, more Americans are going bankrupt, more corporations are moving out the the country and more people continue to lose their healthcare.  Make the candidates talk about these issues.  

by changehorses08 2007-07-14 12:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

Yesterday i left the following blog

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/7/13/1329 1/2578

Renewing American Leadership BY BARACK OBAMA july / august 2007
by DANIELLECLARKE, Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 01:29:01 PM EST

""Summary: After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America."""

............. ...........................
Yesterday i also wrote local and national newspapers as you can read my letter below::

Dear Editor,

First of all i am a Vietnam veteran, who volunteered with the USMC. During that war, I was trained to make the air President Nixon would breathe when flying above 20k feet.
 During the Vietnam War we at least had plenty of soldiers to give others a break. Today our soldiers are at the breaking point.

I am writing to express my dismay over President Bush's reaction to the recent threat assessment from U.S. counter-terrorism analysts. The assessment found that al-Qaeda has regained strength in a safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Despite this evaluation, the White House issued a statement claiming that we are making security progress in the war on terror. George Bush only knows what war to start and who to attack but he doesn't have the ability to ask how to complete a war and why to start one, other than because he just wants too. Now we have an almost broken military.

During the Clinton administration our defict was low, but that was because Bill Clinton closed bases and reduced troop levels. So Clinton knew when and where to close bases and reduce troop levels, however, he also didn't know to ask why he should do it and how it would affect our military..

This administration is also in denial, and its failure to acknowledge the facts is putting the United States in danger. The report found that al Qaeda has regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001, the year our nation was rocked by a devastating attack.

During the vietnam war we had a draft. We at least had enough troops. Today's military / soldiers will never be able to resolve any future wars due to George Bush and Bill Clinton.  The thought of another attack of that magnitude on U.S. soil is very upsetting to me, and I am seriously concerned that our president continues to disregard this information.

George Bush only knows to ask who and what and The clintons only understand to ask when and where. Those without mirror neurons, who can't ask how and why are like robots, which is a form of artificial intellegence. A robot only knows to ask what and who and when and where but doesn't have the foresight to ask how and why.

Personally i am throwing my support to Barack Obama, who i feel, has the best understanding and ability to know how and why to go to war. He understood "why" we shouldn't have gotten into this stupid war and "how" this would affect our troop level and safety.

I can only hope and pray that you post my letter in hopes that our country and our military soldiers are not totally destroyed with this war in Iraq.
If George Bush and his republican congress can't give our troops a break, and stop breaking our military, then i ask them to at the least propose a draft or get us out of Iraq now!

Thank you for your time.

.......................... .............

Now if you really want to Say Something write a letter and say something instead of just saying something here!

To me, here at MYDD, only becomes a place of ego and atitude when you go back and forth.

MYDD and DailyKos, Newsvine etc etc etc are to me places to post the truth and not ego and attitudes.

MAKE IRAQ THE ISSUE WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR EDITOR

by DANIELLECLARKE 2007-07-14 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue

I want to know the candidates views on the huge imprint we will make on Iraq soil with the US Embassy we are building?  All the talk about ending-continuing-redeploying...and yet it looks obvious that we are going to continue to have a presence in IRAQ just like we have in Korea, Germany and numerous other countries.

These little opinionettes that the candidates toss our way do little to explain!  Otherwise, we would not be having all these debates.  Obama vs Clinton vs Edwards is interesting, however do little as to knowledge on where they ACTUALLY stand or what they will ACTUALLY DO!  

This election game as it is played is getting old, the American people want someone that is going to be a real leader this time around, they want to know what they are getting before they vote.

by lja 2007-07-14 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Making Iraq the Issue
Thank you Jerome for your humorous distortion and omission of the facts. I truly enjoy these "who's the biggest anti-war candidate" contests. Your disingenuous post has too many errors to respond to but if you cannot summarize Obama's 2002 position accurately you are obviously not writing this with any attempt of objectivity. "In the run-up to the US invading Iraq, Obama was a candidate whom spoke out against Bush's unilateralism." doesn't come remotely close to breadth and depth of Obama's strong anti-war stance before the invasion, "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences." So it's not a surprise that you do not accurately state Obama's position after the invasion started.

A lot of us were at the rallys in late 2002 making a stand against the impending invasion and few politicians showed up. Unfortunately the invertibrate Democratic party betrayed the American people by splitting and many Democratic "leaders" supported the resolution to authorize force. The absence of an opposition party along with people like Kerry, Hillary and Edwards voting for the authorization of force (also sponsored by Edwards) was the enablement that the Bush administration needed to carry out the war.

So why could Kennedy vote against the resolution but not Kerry? They were both from the same state. Why could Graham vote against but not Edwards? They both served on the intelligence committee. Why could 23 senators vote against but not Hillary? Kerry, Hillary and Edwards were pandering to the war hysteria of the time and were all seduced by a chance at the presidency. That is much worse than mere "bad judgement".

Unfortunately all the lame excuses ("bad intelligence") and apologies afterward don't count for much. (How does one apologize for disasterous judgement that supports actions causing the death of 100,000s of people?) We can't stuff the toothpaste back into the tube. War is a little messier than that. Especially when the end goals require not just winning the war but winning the peace. Now there are hundreds of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands maimed, and millions of Iraqis have fled the country. Politically Iraq is going nowhere. There are at least 4 ongoing conflicts: insurgency, Sunni-Shiite, Kurdish nationalism and al Queda. Tensions are high in the region with Iran, Syria and even Turkey. After 4+ years of war the infrastructure of Iraq is still devastated.

All the major Dem. candidates want the U.S. troops out of Iraq and their goals don't differ that much. The nitpicking on details is mostly irrelevant. When the U.S. pulls troops out there is going to be a deepening humanitarian crisis and greater instability in Iraq. The U.S. still has some responsibilities toward Iraq. That is what needs more discussion. The "biggest anti-war candidate" contests are a pointless exercise of 20th century political posturing.
by Satya 2007-07-14 09:51AM | 0 recs

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