I have been commenting about the ostrich nature of discussions of Libya, including the President's which do not include the word "oil".
For clarity in thinking about Libya, it would be better if we had learned from the Iraq model of discourse. In Iraq, instead of saying “sectarian violence” we should have consistently said “faith based violence”
Here we should consistently use the phrase “Oil Rich Libya” as in “A lot separates the mission in Oil Rich Libya from the invasion of Iraq,".
It's a useful right wing rhetorical strategy as in "wasteful government spending" going back at least to Cato's carthaga delenda est but I suspect, it was a major element in that rock sucking Demosthenes' Phillipics
They are originalists when that gives them the rationale to rule the way they want to, they are federalists when that gives them the rationale to rule the way they want to. They are for states rights unless it doesn't gives them the rationale to rule the way they want to. Giving them the benefit of the intellectual doubt is a weak suckers play, just like the liberals they despise. You can predict their ruling based on what they want, rich over everyone else, whites over everyone else, religion as long as it's fundamentalism or Catholic and government over civil rights.
I was listening to NPR (against my better judgement) and on the He said/She said with Brooks and EJ Dionne they played this part of the statement:
"I will seek someone that understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or a footnote in a casebook, it is also how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcomed in their own nation"
David Brooks then said he wished Obama has said something about the constitution. Of course leaving out:
"I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time."
The moral is whenever you hear David Brooks say something, if someone wants to bet he is lying, get odds if you take the bet.
I would rather have it seen that a blue dog cannot win because they lack popular support. We have a comfortable majority in the house and we should use it to force people who take our money and vote against it to pay a price.
I prefer to think of this as a masterful way of controlling the agenda. By taking the born again fiscal discipline that the Blue Dogs and GOP have suddenly discovered after 8 years and have been blathering about for the last three weeks, and turning it into a force to cut (non-stimulative) defense spending, eliminate (non-stimulative) tax cuts for the wealthy (and hedge fund managers), and cut (non-stimulative) (regressive) national health care costs, we are ready for a real debate. He is playing offense.
Think about the debate in the Progressive Blogoshere about making the first offer on the stimulus too small. This is not too small, this is an assault on the three major problems we have: military spending, unfair irresponsible taxes, and health care.
Look at what happened when Obama called bullshit. That is when he said, "You can't listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done" In other words, if you guys are espousing Rush, you are not Serious People. He is a buffoon. (or at least that's how I interpreted it). It was an Emperor's New Clothes moment.
All of a sudden people (I mean right wing people) are in a tizzy. Defending Rush,(a losing proposition with the rest of America) or attacking him (a losing proposition with the, do they still call themselves dittoheads, Limbaugholics) or simply denying his importance. (See also Luke 22:54-62)
I think it is an example of a great Bully Pulpit Moment.
It occurred to me reading this that this might be a case of benign neglect. We (the progressivesphere) kept on worrying about moral hazard as in if the people who caused this especially bank management have no accountability for what they do, then they will just do it again. The usual recourse was what happened to AIG, new management (partial) and wipe out the stockholders. Note that the spa fiasco would not have been news in "normal" times.
Behold, the wonders of the market are wiping out the stockholders. And do we really think given the current climate that the management is not going to be impacted ? "Hi. I took a 100 Billion dollar capitalization and ran it over a cliff."
Because of the instinctive secrecy of the Bush administration and because of the devastating effect on stock prices for any given bank, the actual facts, which were probably known six months ago, that the banks were insolvent has taken a while to come out.
Bush could, like global warming ignore it but Lincoln's adage (updated) really holds in the market; you can fool all of the people for only a few quarters while etc.
What this means is that the banking system has collapsed of its own greed and Obama has $350 billion dollars to rebuilt it in his own image. So what will a community organizer do in that situation ?
He by his "one president" policy or the timing of the transition, finished the conservative system with a reductio ad absurdum. That is, allow conservative principles to work and you end up with a bankrupt financial system.