Conyers to lay it down in writing

This will be interesting to read. Apparently, Obama called up Rep. Conyers to complain that Conyers was "demeaning" Obama by being critical of him. Conyers replied:

Conyers, the second-longest-serving member of the House, said, "[Obama] called me and told me that he heard that I was demeaning him and I had to explain to him that it wasn't anything personal, it was an honest difference on the issues. And he said, `Well, let's talk about it.'"

Sitting in the Judiciary Committee's conference room two days after Obama delivered his speech on Afghanistan, the 23-term lawmaker said he wasn't in the mood to "chat."

Obama's move to send in 30,000 troops to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010 has clearly disappointed Conyers.

He said he intends to press his case in writing soon.

"I want something so serious that he has to respond in writing, like I am responding in writing to him," he said.

"Calling in generals and admirals to discuss troop strength is like me taking my youngest to McDonald's to ask if he likes french fries," Conyers said.

Many on the left have argued that military leaders routinely respond to crises by calling for more troops.

"I've been saying I don't agree with him on Afghanistan, I think he screwed up on healthcare reform, on Guantánamo and kicking Greg off," Conyers said, referring to the departure of former White House counsel Greg Craig.

Craig was a leading proponent in the White House of closing the terrorist detention center at Guantánamo Bay and releasing photos of detainees undergoing torture. Closing the military prison has proven to be politically difficult, and Obama reversed field on the photos, opting not to make them publicly available.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

The liberal Conyers has been an outspoken proponent of a single-payer healthcare system and a critic of U.S. involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He has also been at odds with White House policy on extending expiring  provisions of the Patriot Act, crafting legislation that is to the left of the Senate's version.

There might be another division coming too, over what to do with borrowed TARP funds that are being returned to pay off the dept. The banks and firms like GS are in much better shape now, having amassed funds from the Gov't at low rates and profitably trading securities. The Republicans want to return the dept to deal with the over 12 trillion deficit, and Democrats want to use the money for a jobs program.


Obama faces mounting pressures from the nation's yawning $12 trillion debt burden and its growing ranks of jobless Americans. Obama has set out to tackle both concerns...

It would seem likely that Obama will try and cut it down the middle, spending while saving, figuring out some proposal along the lines with what he usually proposes, like escalating troops in Afghanistan while simultaneously talking about a pullout date.


On that latter point, you had to be in awe of the political machinery in the WH that takes the research & polling pulse to figure out how to best frame the least terrible of miserable alternatives that the military handed Obama to decide upon.

And yet, "Obama's Plan for Afghanistan Finds Bipartisan Support: Overall, 51% of Americans support the new policy, while 40% are opposed"wrote Gallup:

All in all, slightly more than half of Americans support Obama's new policy in Afghanistan, while 4 out of 10 oppose it. The president at the moment enjoys an unusual situation in which a majority of both Democrats and Republicans favor his newly announced strategy. This level of bipartisan support is counterbalanced to a degree, however, by the fact that less than half of independents support the plan.

Well less than half of Democrats agree either with the level of new troops the U.S. is sending or with the specifics of the new timetable. Similarly, less than half of Republicans agree with either of these two components, and almost three out of four Republicans disagree with the concept of setting a timetable at this point.

Thus, partisan reactions to the specific components of the new plan do not explain the majority support for the plan among both Republicans and Democrats.

It may be that while Democrats disagree with the specifics of the timetable as announced, they approve of the idea of having any timetable included. And it may be that while Republicans strongly disagree with the having any timetable included, they approve of the general idea of an increase of troop levels.

Its a terrible policy, but you have to grant the political expertise a success at weaving a short-term majority together for the policy (not electorally):

"How much longer would you be willing to have large numbers of U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan - less than a year, one to two years, two to five years, five to ten years, or as long as it takes?"

27% Less than 1 year
22% 1 to 2 years
14% 2 to 5 years
1% 5 to 10 years
31% As long as it takes

It's amazing that 31% would be willing to stay in Afghanistan for decades to come, no matter what the cost. The vast majority want this over asap.

Tags: conyers, obama (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

Conyers age may be catching up with him

Really, comparing consulting with generals on military matters to consulting with his son on McDonald's? WTF?

Also, the Afghan policy Obama has devised has a good chance of working well enough to at least stabilize the most vital parts of the country. Long-term, there will need to be much more than military action to achieve permanent, nationwide stability, but what needs to be done there absolutely cannot be done without some military presence--simply withdrawing the troops will solve nothing and create many more problems.

by Davidsfr 2009-12-08 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers age may be catching up with him

It's an analogy.  Surely the point that generals always say they want more troops is not that difficult to grasp.

by Steve M 2009-12-08 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers age may be catching up with him

It's a stupid analogy.  Surely that's not difficult to grasp.

by lojasmo 2009-12-08 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers age may be catching up with him

Calm down.

by Steve M 2009-12-08 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers age may be catching up with him

I'm calmer'n you are.

by KLRinLA 2009-12-08 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

"The vast majority want it over ASAP."

There is not even a bare majority in the first two options, merely a plurality.

Big of conyers to refuse to talk to Obama, instead instigating a public pissing match.  He needs to get over himself, and Grow the Eff up.

by lojasmo 2009-12-08 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

Yes, mustn't challenge Obama.  

Conyers has been putting up the good fight for the American people for decades.  He knows the DC game.  I will give him the benefit of understanding when it is helpful to the political process to sit down and talk and when it is more useful to use the written word.  How about a little respect for an elder statesman.  Or is it that anything/anyone that challenges Obama must be derided?  

Did you have the same disdain for Conyers when he was one of the most vocal critics of the Bush administration and republican congress?  Shame on you.

by orestes 2009-12-08 08:23AM | 0 recs
Old corrupt fool

should have resigned a decade ago.

by JJE 2009-12-08 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing
This is strange for me. I agree with all of what Conyers said yet can't take anything seriously that Jerome puts forward about Obama. Fortunately I read a less biased account of what Obama and Conyers actually said to each other at:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/8/ 811945/-Why-Obama-REALLY-Asked-Conyers-T o-Stop-Demeaning-Him
by timp 2009-12-08 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

whatever:

But when a rec list diary attacks Obama for calling a Congressperson's comments demeaning and then FAILS to include any of the actual quotes (despite repeated calls to do so), then that's pure intellectual dishonesty on par with Fox News taking something out of a context to get its point across.

A silly meltdown war underway over there, pretty boring stuff.

I'm looking forward to reading what Conyers writes.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-08 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

" 27% Less than 1 year
22% 1 to 2 years
14% 2 to 5 years
1% 5 to 10 years
31% As long as it takes

It's amazing that 31% would be willing to stay in Afghanistan for decades to come, no matter what the cost.

The vast majority want this over asap.  "

Where did you get that last statement from, because it was certainly not from the data...

by vecky 2009-12-08 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

" 27% Less than 1 year
22% 1 to 2 years
14% 2 to 5 years

whats that total?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-08 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

Does this mean that 64% disagree with the 'get out immediately' crowd?

by fogiv 2009-12-08 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

Does it?  You tell me since you're creating new language here.

Have you laid out Cheney's position for yourself somewhere?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-08 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

Is that what passes for an answer?  What language have I created?  What does Cheney's position have to do with mine?

It's a serious question:  Does the aggregate of people willing to stay for at least some period of time mean that the 'true' anti-war / 'leave' now sentiment is limited to 36%?

by fogiv 2009-12-08 10:41AM | 0 recs
ugh

Just read the answer below.

Pointing out simple reality to folks is such a drag. I know you have a fantasy name and all to post on the blogs, but that doesn't give you a fantasy reality too.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-09 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: ugh

a fantasy name?  wtf?  'cause everyone on mydd uses their real name as a user ID?  whatever.

by fogiv 2009-12-09 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: ugh

So anyone who doesn't post in his/her real name is therefore Dick Cheney?

(Though that might explain Universal, Texas Darlin and Alegre)

Help me out here, Jerome. Why does everyone who doesn't quite see eye to eye with you have to be categorised as Dick Cheney?

by brit 2009-12-09 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

How is 1-2 years or 2-5 years equivalent to "want this over asap".

By my count the only group to whom that statement applies is the "less than 1 year" crowd = 27%.

by vecky 2009-12-08 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

How is it possible in your mind that ASAP is less than one year when the escalation has been stated to take place through the next 18 months?  

Come on, grasp the reality of the situation, and the context of what's written.

How long would it take to get 100K troops out, and add that to 18 months. Obama has said it'd take 18 months for Iraq. If you use that, it comes up to 3 years.

You with us now in understanding what asap means in reality, or still lost?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-09 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

I understand, but am trying to reconcile your 'vast majority' with this one (from your link):

Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama's decision to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July 2011?
60% Approve, 32% Disapprove

by fogiv 2009-12-09 07:55AM | 0 recs
Godwin's Law Redux

Amendment to Godwin's Law

Clause 1.7

As 'Dick Cheney' has become a synonym for evil, Prince of Darkness, soul destroying totalitarian fascist, anyone who uses the phrase 'You're like Dick Cheney' whilst engaged in political discussions online immediately forfeits the argument and loses the debate.

by brit 2009-12-09 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Godwin's Law Redux

Except in cases where the posters start whoring for the position of Dick Cheney while attempting to play it without a position.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-09 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Godwin's Law Redux

jesus man, that doesn't even make any sense.

by fogiv 2009-12-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Conyers to lay it down in writing

I think the asap folk are just as upset about the pace of withdrawal in Iraq.

I take ASAP to mean exactly what it does. It's sort of like the opposite of ALIT (As Long as It Takes) - it's not so much a specific time-frame but a ideological standpoint. Even ALIT crowd would balk at a 10 year commitment.

by vecky 2009-12-09 12:23PM | 0 recs

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