Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

On Friday, Senator Obama said his foreign policy would be something like Bush 1, Reagan and Kennedy.


Excerpts from MSNBO First Read 3/29/2008

From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
GREENBURG, PA -- Barack Obama promised that his foreign policy would be a return to what he says was the realist approach practiced by George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

There is more

"My foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional realistic policy of George Bush's father, of John F. Kennedy, of in some ways Ronald Reagan," he said Friday.  A voter at the town hall in Greenburg had asked Obama to respond to charges that his foreign policy was naïve.  

He says some things that make sense but more that leaves me still wondering WTF?  I especially wonder about people who fail to realize that JFK started the Vietnam escalation.

Read the entire article please
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/03/29/837657.aspx

Tags: Bush, obama, Reagan (all tags)



WTF and tips

by NewHampster 2008-03-30 05:02PM | 0 recs
Bush I Lost because of his foreign
policy fuck ups.  Projectile vomiting at a Chinese banquet didn't help either.
We went into recession under his watch.  Similar to this one.  Oil and gas prices skyrocketed.
by earthoat 2008-03-30 05:19PM | 0 recs
People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

during the Reagan rein.  I remember going to the women's room at grand central station, and homeless black women were sleeping on the floor.

You are starting to see homeless people sleeping in the subways again. This is the first time, since Clinton left office.   It is heart breaking.

Maybe Obama will give them foam pads to make them comfortable.

by earthoat 2008-03-30 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

Obama doesn't really notice them, is my guess.  He was wearing a suit and tie today while feeding a calf with some county fair people, or something in Pennsylvania. Somehow, I don't think he relates to the suitless and tieless part of society very well, and certainly not those who sleep on the ground.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

Foreign policy.  He was just highlighting that he isn't the first (on either side) to favor diplomacy.  This was a good political move - if he can show how his diplomatic approach is similar to Reagan's the Repubs won't be able to hit him with the "weak" angle.  But bury your head in the sand if you'd like.

by proseandpromise 2008-03-30 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

That's really funny.  Do you really think that the Repubs won't hit him with Wright, Ayers, Auchi, Khalidi, Meeks, Jones, Hamas, etal?   You have just seen the tip of the iceberg from Fox and the Muslim email.

by anya109 2008-03-30 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

I don't doubt they will.  But I think he will handle the swift boating a million times better than Kerry did because hes' willing to say stuff like this.  So all the WTF'ing is totally unnecessary.  

by proseandpromise 2008-03-31 04:10AM | 0 recs
Ronald Reagan's foreign policy was terrible..

so was George HW Bush's..

Examples.. Iran Contra scandal, right before Reagan took office.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAE BB210/index.htm

Reagan's support of Saddam Hussein during some of the bloodiest years he ruled Iraq..

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAE BB82/

US support for death squads in Central and Latin America..

US support for Suharto in Indonesia, secret support for Pol Pot in Cambodia, etc. etc..

etc.. etc. etc..

Please, Obama, don't emulate the worst Presidencies we have ever had...

by architek 2008-03-30 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Ronald Reagan's foreign policy was terrible..

He's not talking about emulating those aspects of Reagan's foreign policy.

As discussed below, Obama was talking about realist approaches to foreign policy, which had been the consensus position at least from Truman to Clinton.

Instead of seeing to totally remake the world, as our current president has thought possible, realists focus on dealing with actually existing states and entities and trying to make improvements.  I link to an article by Richardson below on a new realism, one which includes both tradition concerns like security and newer ones like the environmental health of the planet.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 04:44AM | 0 recs
So why is it that he didn't include Bill Clinton

in his list?

This is becoming a disturbing trend with the Obama camp.  It seems the Obama camp feels it cannot lift their candidate up to the Presidency without having him climb up the back of what should be our party's "Ronald Reagan", and stabbing him in the back on the way up.

I don't remember George W. Bush slamming (or snubbing) Reagan to get elected, and I don't understand how people who claim to be Democrats support someone who does it to Bill Clinton.

The manner in which Barack Obama's camp has treated two-term Democratic President, Bill Clinton, standing alone, should be enough to disqualify him from being the nominee of the "Democratic Party".  

Can you imagine if John McCain and his supporters had done to Ronald Reagan what Barack Obama and his supporters have done to Bill Clinton?  They're destroying our brand - our Democratic brand - while calling themselves Democrats.  


by PJ Jefferson 2008-03-31 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: So why is it that he didn't include Bill Clint

I hear you, but no other candidate has had the difficult position of having a former president's wife as his nomination opponent.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 05:41AM | 0 recs
Maybe that is why Obama is getting so much money?

He's being paid to do it..

by architek 2008-03-31 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe that is why Obama is getting so much mon

From the million plus people who have donated to him?

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:02AM | 0 recs
Interesting how you phrase that..

>From the million plus people who have donated to him?

All of you are so careful to use phrases that conceal the FACT that a very large percentage of Obama's MONEY comes from large donors with corporate ties..

The small donations may look folksy, but they don't add up to anything near what those large donations do.

And when a bunch of the employees of a single company donate large chunks of money all at the same time, I do think thats a corporate donation, BTW.

by architek 2008-03-31 10:43AM | 0 recs
I do concede that Obama has a fine line

to walk, in that he doesn't want praise for Bill Clinton to be considered praise for his opponent.  I'm not so blinded by support of Hillary Clinton that I don't get that.  But I really don't think he's doing a good job at all of walking that line.

For example, if the Obama meme is that Hillary was just kissing babies and accepting flowers from 9 year old girls while Bill was running the country, then why can't he concede the good things that Bill did while he was running the country, while insisting that Hillary is not entitled to the credit for it?

I also find it strange that Obama's entire campaign is about parsing his language so as to pander to absolutely everyone, on absolutely every issue, but he can't seem to find a way to talk up Bill Clinton without talking up Hillary in the process.

I just don't think he's trying, or that he cares about Bill Clinton's legacy - which is evidence that HE'S the candidate that is "so ambitious he will do anything to get elected, even if it means destroying the party".

by PJ Jefferson 2008-03-31 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I do concede that Obama has a fine line

I hear you, but I think it is a tough line to walk. Perhaps you are right and he could be doing it better.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: I do concede that Obama has a fine line

Well, he sort of is running against that legacy, isn't he?  I think all us democrats can look back on the 90s with a lot of fondness given what terrible things have happened in the decades on either side, but the fact of this primary is that Hillary is taking a lot of credit (regardless of the argument about whether she deserves any for the good or bad that happened) for that great decade, and Bill is doing everything he can to help his wife win.

Again, it is perfectly understandable for Bill to be campaigning aggressively and even acting as Hillary's "attack dog" (one of those phrases that gets tossed around a lot), but I'm not sure how fair it is for people to expect Obama to graciously accept the derision that Bill heaps upon him and then turn around and praise the Clintons for the 90s.  I do think that it is representative of a process that is increasingly harmful to the party, but it's going both ways, you know?  I think it's really difficult for either candidate, at this point, to elevate above what this race has become.

by minnesotaryan 2008-03-31 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: So why is it that he didn't include Bill Clint

Perhaps if our party's "Ronald Reagan" didn't feel a similar need to stab Obama in the back...

by freedom78 2008-03-31 07:11AM | 0 recs
What does that have to do with

foreign policy?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: What does that have to do with

Obama's talking about realism in foreign policy, such as that advocated by Bill Richardson:

http://www.harvardir.org/articles/1630/3 /
"The challenges facing all nations today are the shared problems of an interdependent global society. Solutions necessarily also must be shared. The United States must adapt its thinking to these realities and provide the leadership that only the sole superpower can provide in fostering the cooperation needed to solve the issues that face the modern world. The US government needs to see the world as it really is--so that the United States can lead others to make it a better, safer place. The United States should craft a new realism that looks at the world through cool eyes, but which is inspired by ardent principles. A new realism for a new century. I believe that such an enlightened and effective policy for the 21st century is possible."

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:17PM | 0 recs
Oh I know

Sadly so many here don't.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: People were sleeping in the streets of NYC

You took a diary about foreign policy and, within a couple of posts, turned it into a snide remark about Obama not caring about the problem of homelessness.

What a joke.

by freedom78 2008-03-31 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: WTF and tips

This is excellent and really needs to be known by people.  However, I am guessing that most of his supporters are to young to remember this:

" I especially wonder about people who fail to realize that JFK started the Vietnam escalation."

It seems that JFK paying to bring Obama Sr. from Africa is not the only thing that Obama mis-remembered about JFK.


by macmcd 2008-03-30 05:19PM | 0 recs
Convenient Memories n/t

by NewHampster 2008-03-30 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF and tips

Perhaps you could explain to the readers what realist foreign policy is, since that is what Obama was discussing.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:37PM | 0 recs
Two questions

(1) Please identify the evidence for your assertion.  The quotation, which is all that I've seen of the speech, specifically says that Obama's foreign policy will be like that of the three Presidents identified. Please note that while the terms "realism" and "realist" are associated with that school, the term "realistic" is far more argumentative and generally is not used to describe Kissingerian realism, yet in the non-paraphrased actual quote, "realistic" is the descriptive term Obama used.

Secondly, even assuming that you are correct and Obama was not saying what he appears to have been saying but instead merely that he ascribes to the realist school of foreign policy, is there any reason that he could not have chosen a living Democrat as an exemplar?  Personally, I would take either Carter's or Clinton's foreign policy by a mile over any of the three Presidents he named, and there are most assuredly definitions of "realism" wide enough to encompass both of those Presidents.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Two questions

Any realist would label Bush as naive and Obama has done.  

He used the term realistic because this is a more common term and he was, after all, at a town meeting, not a foreign policy event at a think tank.

He certainly could have used Clinton as an example of a realist (Carter is a bit more complicated in some ways).

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Two questions

As an IR professor, I can say with some authority that "realistic" is sometimes used to describe realism, and that I doubt very much, and would ask for evidence of your claim, that this is Kissingerian realism.  

I've looked through Obama's foreign policy, and it's a combination of realism and liberal institutionalism.  For example, fighting unnecessary wars is NOT realist.  For the longest time, the popular focus on realism was one of looking at hegemonic control, but now we focus on the choices in war precisely because of wars like the current Iraq war.  Obama thinks of himself as a realist precisely because he wants to avoid such wars.

But I think he's mostly an IR liberal.  Liberalism would also avoid such wars, from the non-internationally sanctioned stance the US took into Iraq, though international action to end a genocide or to provide a collective security action would be acceptable.  Obama believes in this, as evidenced by his position on Darfur.  

Because realism has been the dominant approach, we often frame things in its terms, and that's what Obama is doing here.  He's advocating realism's best, by not becoming involved in unnecessary wars and by acknowledging that we face a world with real dangers and enemies.  But there's also the liberalism...the belief in using the power of the international community to provide greater security for all.

Any implication that Obama is ascribing to every single foreign policy choice made by Kennedy, Reagan, or Bush I is false.  You can compliment a person without including all of their faults and poor choices in that compliment.  Some in this and other diaries are trying to force Obama's words into a mold of aspiring to ALL that these Presidents did, which is ridiculous.  No one REALLY thinks Obama wants his own Iran-Contra.  But some say it with feigned confusion and outrage because it serves their own purposes.  

by freedom78 2008-03-31 07:35AM | 0 recs
Anyone who reads the whole article...

... will know that you have cherry-picked quotes and twisted their meaning.

But at least you provided a link to the article.

Gotta give you points for daring to do that.

by tbetz 2008-03-30 06:09PM | 0 recs
Foreign policy realism

Obama was talking about an approach to foreign policy that doesn't try to totally remake the world like Bush did. Bush thought that invading Iraq could bring a flowering of democracy to the middle east. Realists like Brent Scowcroft argued that was naive. That's what Obama was referring to.

Here's an interesting take on realism by Bill Richardson. http://www.harvardir.org/articles/1630/

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF and tips
remind me again why I shouldnt vote McCranky if Obama gets the nom?
this guy is an appeaser
I dont need Neville Chamberlain I want FDR
by ginaswo 2008-03-30 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF and tips

Because if W were a realist, we wouldn't be in Iraq right now?

by freedom78 2008-03-31 07:16AM | 0 recs
I thought he was too liberal this week

or was that last week?

by Lefty Coaster 2008-03-30 10:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I thought he was too liberal this week

I'm confused too. What the hell is Obama this week?

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-03-31 02:13AM | 0 recs

grasping at straws is unbecoming

by Andre X 2008-03-30 05:02PM | 0 recs

Of course, all criticisms valid or not must be clutching at straws. Obama, as the messiah, is perfect in every way. Obama will bring hope and change to our nation - nevermind the broken economy, our nation's healthcare system and foreign policy.

This isn't particularly shocking, Obama did want to bomb Pakistan after all.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:07PM | 0 recs
Wow. Just wow.

#1:  the "messiah" crap is really really old.  No Obama supporter has ever said he is "perfect in every way".

#2:  Obama did NOT say he "wanted to bomb Pakistan".  That is just a flat lie.

by bawbie 2008-03-30 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

It's hardly old, Obama does inspire something slightly more interesting than the Ron Paul does with his nutty supporters.

Yes, you are absolutely right, he didn't say he wanted to bomb them. Only that we should violate their sovereignity if necessary. Hardly different than Bush I or II.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

Except Bush II said he'd refuse to do that, how dumb that idea was, etc...

... then the CIA did it anyway and it yielded results. Go figure. He was right.

Oh, and if anyone has a messiah complex, it's die-hard Clinton fanatics. Talk about projection.

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

A messiah complex on the Clinton side - I don't believe her campaign literature has ever instructed supporters to talk about how they came to her while telling them to avoid discussion of issues. Can't exactly say the same for Obama. It's a bit difficult though, I'm never sure if I should judge Obama by the company he keeps or as himself.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

I'd love to see a link to something like that.

When 30% of your supporters threaten to vote for McCain if they don't get their way, it's a personality cult, not any concern about the country or the Democratic party, my friend.

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_c ontent/political_commentary/commentary_b y_froma_harrop/vaporous_obama_turns_off_ many_centrists

Volunteer trainees at Camp Obama are told not to talk issues with voters, but to offer personal testimony about how they "came" to Obama.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jht ml?xml=/news/2008/02/23/wUS123.xml

At the campaign's "Camp Obama" - a training programme run ahead of primaries in key states - volunteers are schooled to avoid talking to voters about policy, and instead tell of how they "came" to Obama, just as born-again Christians talk about "coming to Jesus."

As far as the portion of Clinton voters saying they would go to McCain, its only because we are in the middle of a primary. If I remember correctly, the Obama side that wouldn't vote for Clinton was only a bit lower.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:33PM | 0 recs
You don't expect them to follow the links

and really read.  Do you?

They've been bamboozled.

by NewHampster 2008-03-30 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't expect them to follow the links

Maybe not, but the poster asked and I supplied.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't expect them to follow the links

That article was bs.

I've volunteered for Obama and have friends who did, too, and we never got instructions like that.

Those pieces came from the time when people claimed that lots of people fainted at Obama rallies because they were cultish even though people faint in equal %s at all crowded events.  I know lots of folks who fainted at ball games and concerts.  

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't expect them to follow the links

That bit wasn't the point. It was the point about Camp Obama. Since then Obama himself has said the campaign would try to tone it down. The original point stands.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't expect them to follow the links

Also, one of my pet peeves you've hit at. 'Me and two of my friends witnessed...' - no offense, but you and your two friends likely can't speak for a 50 state campaign based on your unique experiences.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't expect them to follow the links
I read them, thank you!
To bad the meida her in the states doesn't get it- oh wait- I'm sorry- they're part and parcel of the whole thing.
by ProudMilitaryMom 2008-03-30 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

10%, my friend, compared to 30%, is a lot lower.

Your links provide only commentary, not any actual evidence. On the contrary, here's what I found- from NPR.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story .php?storyId=11012254

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

10% and 30%? And Obama's folks accuse the Clinton side of faulty math - lets try 28 and 19 -

http://www.gallup.com/poll/105691/McCain -vs-Obama-28-Clinton-Backers-McCain.aspx .

You're absolutely right its political commentary, news stories derived from insider political happenings. But they wouldn't have made up the idea - you just don't like that Obama is in the same league as Larouche and Paul with their nutty supporters.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

Ooh, actually, I wrote that wrong. I'd meant a 10% difference. My bad.

No, actually, the accusations don't bother me at all because I know they're not true, and if that's the worst people can come up with about Obama supporters, we got no problems. I more towards pointing out hypocrisy. Clinton supporters can be just as psychotic- but let's hope you're right about the primary generating those numbers, and I'm wrong about a Clinton personality cult. Or we're all boned.

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

Hell no.  You're so wrong on this.  Wishful thinking indeed.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:44PM | 0 recs
I'll be emailing those links to everyone I know.


by PJ Jefferson 2008-03-31 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow. Just wow.

Only that we should violate their sovereignity if necessary. Hardly different than Bush I or II.

Or Clinton I of course. Or, for that matter Carter, or Ford, or Nixon, or LBJ, or Eisenhower or Truman or FDR ... I'll stop there, but I think I could keeping going for a while. If Obama were to not violate the sovereignty of another country during his presidency, he really would be the Messiah.

I'm sure that Clinton II would never ever violate the sovereignty of another nation. Right? If she knew where Osama bin Laden was, she'd just say to her Sec Def, "Gosh, he's in Pakistan, and Pakistan says we can't go after him, I guess we'll just have to let him operate freely." Somehow, I doubt it.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 05:26PM | 0 recs
The point

is not what the President might do under exigent circumstances.  It's that just talking about such an eventuality in public has an impact on Pakistani politics, in this case serving as an excuse for a further pre-election crackdown by Pakistani strongman Musharraf:

 Political turmoil in Pakistan deepened Thursday when the government raised the possibility that embattled President Gen. Pervez Musharraf might impose a state of emergency, drawing condemnation that doing so would be a desperate bid to hold onto power.

Tariq Azim, the minister for state information, said a state of emergency could not be ruled out because of "external and internal threats" and deteriorating security in Pakistan's volatile northwest near the Afghan border.

Azim also said talk from the United States about the possibility of U.S. military action against al-Qaida in Pakistan "has started alarm bells ringing and has upset the Pakistani public." He mentioned Democratic presidential hopeful Barak Obama by name as an example of someone who made such comments, saying his recent remarks were one reason the government was debating a state of emergency.

There's a word for statements like that:

Dictionary: saber rattling

A flamboyant display of military power.
A threat or implied threat to use military force.

It's usually not a good idea.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The point

Nope, it's not. And neither was voting for Kyl-Lieberman. Every serious presidential candidate sabre rattles, particularly ones who are perceived as being insufficiently macho and pro-war. It sucks, and I certainly won't defend it, but I can't get very shocked over it either.

Neither Clinton or Obama are anywhere close to me politically (I'm a dovish democratic socialist who wants single payer health care), but I think that overall Obama's foreign policy, despite the sabre rattling, is actually more sane and conciliatory than Clinton's. Obama's willingness to talk to the leaders of our nominal enemies impressed me, and I've been even more impressed with the way he has stuck by it, and made it a major point of his foreign policy. While I think his sabre rattling on Pakistan was distasteful, I think Clinton and McCain's attempts to decry his willingness to violate the national sovereignty of Pakistan in order to kill Osama bin Laden are unimpressive and unconvincing.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 07:03PM | 0 recs
How did Obama vote on that Kyl/Lieberman thingy?

Oh, wait.  He didn't vote at all.  He did what he's been accused of by those who don't drink his brand of Kool Aid.  In fact, Obama's "vote" on Kyl Lieberman appears to be evidence of almost everything bad that people have been saying about him.

That he no-showed his way through the Illinois Legislature.

That he's all talk.

That he's an empty suit.

That he's afraid or unwilling to take a stand.

That by not taking a stand, he panders to everyone (including AIPAC) without pissing off anyone (including AIPAC).

That he says one thing but does another.

In fact, I simply don't get why ANY Obama supporter would EVER bring up Kyl Lieberman to support their candidate over Clinton.  

I respect what Clinton did on Kyl Lieberman A LOT MORE than I respect what Obama did.  At least she had the "balls" to take a stand before the American voting public.  Where are his?  

by PJ Jefferson 2008-03-31 05:42AM | 0 recs
Yes, "want" is not the correct word

And he also didn't say he would "bomb" Pakistan.  He could just as well have been saying that he intended to use missile strikes, or perhaps even ground troops--because he did say he would attack Pakistan if he learned of high-value terrorist targets inside Pakistan.

Obama said if elected in November 2008 he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government, a move that would likely cause anxiety in the already troubled region.

"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Obama said.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:11PM | 0 recs

Barack Obama has a far better chance of winning in November than Hillary Clinton.

You must understand this by now?

by Andre X 2008-03-30 05:10PM | 0 recs

I bet McGovern's supporters felt the same way. He drew the crowds and admiration just the same. Of course, he also collapsed and lost 49 states.

by msharp 2008-03-30 05:14PM | 0 recs

Yep, Hillary should take note of that comparison if she gets the nom- your point is exactly correct, she'll be the new McGovern.

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:16PM | 0 recs

or Mondale

by Andre X 2008-03-30 05:43PM | 0 recs
Fair enough.

Please provide some valid criticism.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:51PM | 0 recs

Wow!  I wish I'd thought of that when people were throwing everything AND the kitchen sink, dishes, appliances and garbage can at Hillary over the past 15 years.

Grasping at straws - DOH!


by alegre 2008-03-30 05:11PM | 0 recs

What straws?  The man obviously and repeatedly aligns himself with Reagan and Republicans (vote Democrat for a day), while at the same time being "portrayed" as the most liberal Democratic Senator.

That's just bull@#$t, if you'll excuse me.  I'm getting schizophrenic just reading his "many positions", none of them clearly standing up for Democrats.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:18PM | 0 recs

Yes, and Reagan often harkened back to FDR. It is a politically effective technique, particularly if you are running on the idea of uniting and restoring the country.

Personally, though, I do find Obama suggesting that his foreign policy would resemble Reagan's (backing the Guatemalan genocide to the cost of 200,000 lives, backing the Contras, etc) pretty disgusting. Although Reagan did also abandon support for Marcos, allowing Aquino to successfully lead the popular uprising against him in the Philippines, and he recognized Gorbachev as someone worth negotiating with. Still, it doesn't stack up very high against the death squads.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 05:32PM | 0 recs

It is the height of sophistry to say that because Obama said he liked the idea of realism that he supports the death squads funded by Reagan.

You can praise one aspect of a leader's approach and strongly oppose other elements.  Normal people do that all the time.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:44PM | 0 recs

Oh, so now Reaganism is "realism"?  Did you ever take a look what happened to the country during his presidency?

He promised to balance the budget, for one thing, only to leave us with a bigger deficit than before he became president.  Bill Clinton dug us out of that hole, and left us with a surplus, only to get Bush to triple the pain Reagan inflicted.

For god's sake, don't we know our enemies anymore?

When Obama aligns himself with Reagan and Bush, he is saying to the true Democrats "Fuck You!"

He is communicating that none of the people who fought and did the down and dirty work of getting civil rights legislation, women's rights for abortion, equal pay, union worker's right, and on and on - get any credit for paving the roads for the future.

He's saying "shit on all your efforts", I can do it better.  They're the "old kind".

Don't you understand how much that appalls those of us who have been fighting these fights for 30 or 40 years or more?

We put our hearts on the line way back then, for the same things you supposedly are fighting for right now.  We've been in the trenches, we showed up, we fought hard and fair (not so practical anymore, it seems).  We laid down the roads.

I feel deeply offended at Obama's statements which tend to be pro-Reagan, and in the name of "Change and Hope", just incidentally, dismiss us as irrellevant, the old type of politics, we need a NEW kind of politics.

What the hell kind of politics is it to throw the founders of all that's been gained out in the bathtub?

And yes, I AM angry about this, as I see it as what it is:  another 30-second commercial that takes our attention away from long-term strategy for us.  And it hurts.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:58PM | 0 recs


Presented to us  by the great dividers.  Looks like it's working.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 06:01PM | 0 recs

Realism is a foreign policy doctrine. It has nothing to do with balanced budgets and deficits.

The terminology is used by academics and by people in the foreign policy community.

Here's an article you could check out to learn more http://www.harvardir.org/articles/1630/

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:07PM | 0 recs

I think what is being dismissed as old politics is Clinton/DLC triangulation, not the peace movement, the labor movement, or the civil rights movement.

Reagan's foreign policy was disgusting, and I protested it as a teenager, but it was not insane in the same way as Bush II's foreign policy has been.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 08:01PM | 0 recs
He said the words he said

If you're going to say your foreign policy will be like Reagan's, your words have the connotation that they have.  If you want to avoid that connotation, you'd damn well better say it.

You know, we've all seen enough of Obama by now to now how very precise he is with words.  I want to hear an explanation that doesn't assume that he misspoke or spoke sloppily or meant something different from what he said.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:25PM | 0 recs

I'm an Obama supporter. I understand why Obama finds it useful to talk up Reagan, and I understand that it doesn't mean that he plans to fund a genocide in Colombia (or wherever), but it still disgusts me. I was a teenager in the 80's and a volunteer in the peace movement. Reagan is nothing like a hero to me. There are leaders you don't praise, and Reagan is one of them for me.

I was trying to explain why he is doing what he's doing, how it isn't a sign that he isn't a real Democrat, while still recognizing and agreeing with the feelings of revulsion that others feel when Reagan gets praised.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 07:52PM | 0 recs
Please explain

what Obama meant in this instance.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:52PM | 0 recs

i think he was referring to the realist vs. the neo con school of IR - a more academic distinction

by CardBoard 2008-03-30 05:04PM | 0 recs

Dunno... I'm seeing a very definite pattern here.

by alegre 2008-03-30 05:12PM | 0 recs

That once Obama gets nominated, you won't have your name on the Colbert Report anymore?

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:14PM | 0 recs

That's right.  Just throw more personal sarcasm.  Says a lot about your actual reasoning skills.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:19PM | 0 recs
You mean a pattern...

Of Obama embracing REPUBLICAN ideas & principles before he'd say anything nice about "The Clintons"? Notice how he praised Reagan & Bush, but said nothing of Bill Clinton's successes in foreign policy? Wow, how "progressive" of Obama.

by atdleft 2008-03-30 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean a pattern...

Can ANY Obama supporter here point out a single nice thing Obama has said about the Clintons, except for throw-away comments like "You're likable enough", or some other off-the-cuff dismissive comment.

Hillary has been far more gracious, by all standards.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean a pattern...

Except that Obama does call to congratulate her for her wins, while Clinton never calls him.

In Salem, OR on the 21st, Obama called Clinton "smart, capable, tenacious."

But, yes, given that Clinton is running on Clinton's presidency, Obama isn't going to talk it up.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 05:37PM | 0 recs
Both Clintons

have made statements about Obama, during the campaign, that could fairly be described as "gushing."

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean a pattern...

Harry Truman was a realist.  This is not a Republican idea, it is the consensus view of foreign policy for a very long time.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:08PM | 0 recs
That's the point. You don't know.

You don't know enough about foreign policy to know what he's talking about. But you sense a pattern... I sense a pattern as well.


by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:54PM | 0 recs

"I think he was referring to..."

That seems to be the whole argument of Obama supporters, no matter what he says.

I don't buy it.  It's not articulate enough for me.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:41PM | 0 recs
Please explain what he meant.

Do you know?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:55PM | 0 recs

I guess then I'm not articulate enough. I'm doing my best to explain realism in a paragraph despite the fact that it is a doctrine that's evolved over the last 60 years.  Perhaps you could contribute to our communicative task by taking a little time to read about realism, whether it's the article by Richardson I liked to earlier or something else you can find on-line.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:25PM | 0 recs
Yes, and...

The profound lack of understanding of foreign policy on the part of, apparently, a large number of Hillary supporters here is cautionary and disturbing.  You are correct, of course, and the reception of his remarks in the media and among foreign policy professionals reflects this understanding of the basics of our foreign policy over the past quarter-century.

The point I would make to illustrate the erudite and rather well informed remarks of Senator Obama, for Hillary supporters, is that unlike the comments about Reagan he made months ago in a broader context her campaign has assiduously avoided criticism on this, at least until now.  Even they understand what he was saying and it makes sense and is difficult to argue with.  I wonder how many of her supporters here can recall the Powell Doctrine and how it helped shape some relatively successful engagements in US foreign policy, even during the Clinton administration.

We could do no harm to lift the level of discourse on foreign policy, both here on this site and in the electorate as a whole.  That was exactly what Obama was intending with his entire speech, these remarks included.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, and...

You know - some of us have studied Political Science and read widely.  It's a primary and he is reaching out to Republicans, moderate ones (Bush) and adoring ones (Reagan) and the boomers (Kennedy).  After all, Teddy came out for him.  He's looking for votes.  

There was a "clear exit strategy" in that document - well there really is no document - too bad Powell didn't see fit to do anything about that when he had an opportunity.  

That strategy was a follow up on our "weak"  VietNam policy and while it may look good on paper for first Gulf War - it didn't do much for the second one.  "Shock and Awe" and...and...and...L. Paul Bremmer.

Yet, you are right about raising the level of discourse - I must admit.  I see it is also a slap at the Clinton administration - thus at Hillary.  But okay, it's politics like I said.      

by Xanthe 2008-03-31 08:05AM | 0 recs

Reagan and JFK spoke with our greatest enemies. Bush I rallied most of the world, including the Middle East, against Saddam.

Nice try, NEXT!!

by highgrade 2008-03-30 05:05PM | 0 recs


Once again I notice the hypocrisy here. This week Hillary went to speak with the reporters at the Pittsburgh Tribune, walking into a lion's den (just like Wes Clark did when he signed on with Fox News to give them nothing but hell).  Scaife attended the meeting (he's the owner of the paper after all).  After the meeting he writes an article on how she somewhat changed his mind on her.

And HOW is it portrayed by the (not-so-liberal) blogs?  

Instead of recognizing that she can win people over once they meet her personally, she's portrayed as snuggling up to Scaife as the usual traitor to our side.  Am I pissed?  You bet.  No matter what she does is painted wrong, yes, PAINTED  wrong.  If she can convince Scaife that her points of view are of value, shouldn't she too be called a uniter?  And perhaps more so than her opponent who seems to stir up nothing more than hate and division?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbur ghtrib/opinion/s_559659.html

"Hillary Clinton walked into a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review conference room last Tuesday to meet with some of the newspaper's editors and reporters and declared, "It was so counterintuitive, I just thought it would be fun to do."

The room erupted in laughter. Her remark defused what could have been a confrontational meeting.

More than that, it said something about the New York senator and former first lady who hopes to be America's next president.

More than most modern political figures, Sen. Clinton has been criticized regularly, often harshly, by the Trib. We disagreed with many of her policies and her actions in the past. We still disagree with some of her proposals.

The very morning that she came to the Trib, our editorial page raised questions about her campaign and criticized her on several other scores.

Reading that, a lesser politician -- one less self-assured, less informed on domestic and foreign issues, less confident of her positions -- might well have canceled the interview right then and there.

Sen. Clinton came to the Trib anyway and, for 90 minutes, answered questions."

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:34PM | 0 recs

And Obama is still afraid to go on Chis Wallace show at Fox.  He's the great Uniter, right?

by moevaughn 2008-03-30 05:51PM | 0 recs
Do you watch Fox?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Do you watch Fox?

No, not as a rule, and I don't watch MSNBC either.  Sometimes I flip through the channels though.

by moevaughn 2008-03-31 08:18AM | 0 recs

How wonderful it is to see a bunch of Obama people upgrading a remark bragging on the Reagan-Bush foreign policy on what used to be a Democratic politics website.

OF COURSE you can cherry-pick one or two good foreign policy things out of their administrations.  They had the finest diplomatic and intelligence institutions in the world at their beck and call, and neither of those Presidents was so chowderheaded as to completely ignore those institutions, as is the current President.

But they still both had terribly wrong-headed foreign policies.  They were both old-school Cold Warriors (as was JFK, by the way), dedicated to massively increasing the size of the military-industrial complex and conducting foreign policy primarily by virtue of military threat.

Reagan, in fact, was buddy-buddy with Saddam and funded the mujahadeen from which Al Qaeda sprang.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:31PM | 0 recs
What's wrong with JFK? You didn't mention him. Obama said Bush 41, JFK, and "in some ways" Reagan. Sounds OK to me.
by Becky G 2008-03-30 05:06PM | 0 recs
You didn't read the entire "there's more" post.

I especially wonder about people who fail to realize that JFK started the Vietnam escalation.
by NewHampster 2008-03-30 05:16PM | 0 recs

Good luck to you and your wishful thinking.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:42PM | 0 recs

and what from that article did you think WTF about?

It all made sense to me.

by bawbie 2008-03-30 05:07PM | 0 recs

Sorry about that I copied the headline straight from MSNBO.  I'll edit it.

by NewHampster 2008-03-30 05:13PM | 0 recs

Why don't Obama just try to be himself.  

Don't sell us the image of the grate heros of the past.  Don't try to connect to Reagan's children by trying to be Reagan.  

I just want him to be himself, and show us what he, Obama, will bring to this country.

by JoeySky18 2008-03-30 05:09PM | 0 recs

Most leaders situate themselves in relation to traditions of thought and action.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:10PM | 0 recs

I agree. Ignore all other instances of people doing good things, and be yourself. That's why we have such a great President right now.

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:12PM | 0 recs

Because you need some experience in it first to know what works and what doesn't. Even years of Observing what works and what doesn't work, would be better than nothing.  Then you can form your own policies.  Unfortunetly, we might have to live through his hit and miss process of getting some experience right along with him.   Ugh.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:23PM | 0 recs

Realist foreign policy takes the world as it is and tries to grapple with those actualities in creating change.  

In contrast, George W. Bush's policy stance, sometimes called idealist, tries to remake the world in fundamental ways, ignoring the constraints of what exists.  Thus Bush thought he could remake the middle east in the U.S.'s image and that the Iraq war could help bring that about.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:09PM | 0 recs
Good strategy Obama. Move to the centre and supplant McCain.
He then moves to the right and you monopolize him.
President Obama.
by KathyM 2008-03-30 05:10PM | 0 recs
My question is

if Obama is already at center, how far right will he move?

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 05:33PM | 0 recs
Not as far right as Clinton already

is on foreign policy. But you're cool with K-L & Iraq I'm sure.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:04PM | 0 recs
I'm cool

with Hillary's foreign policy. It isn't the Bush 41/Reagan policy that Obama wants to emulate.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 06:20PM | 0 recs
Are you?

Please explain the differences.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:30PM | 0 recs
Hillary is not

pandering to Republicans.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 06:47PM | 0 recs
That's non-responsive

and of course entirely untrue. Unless you think the Clintons' going on FOX, Limbaugh, & meeting with Scaife, happened because they actually like those folks.

However, talking about a more realistic and diplomatic foreign policy should be something that all Democrats should support. Guess not.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:53PM | 0 recs

in your view, yet entirely true to anyone paying attention to the Obama campaign tactics.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 07:04PM | 0 recs
In any view. You didn't respond.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:10PM | 0 recs
Where does that come from?

Their Iraq policies are i-dentical.  Obama has said some pretty hawkish things about Iran and Afghanistan.

And Clinton damn sure hasn't come out praising regressive Cold War-centric foreign policies. . . .

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:33PM | 0 recs
Well of course there is the Iraq war vote

without knowing all of the information, there is the K-L vote, there is the refusal to engage in diplomacy...

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:46PM | 0 recs

Why would we ever take the things other Presidents, regardless of party, did right? WHY??!?!

If we didn't, we could be just like George Bush! Yay!

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:10PM | 0 recs

But I think Bill Clinton was a better President than either Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. Why didn't Barack Obama mention the 42nd President? He had more foreign policy successes than either of the two Republicans.

by atdleft 2008-03-30 05:19PM | 0 recs
Tell that to the Rwandans.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry...

That's a daring position to argue, are you sure you want to go there?

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 06:13PM | 0 recs
Care to expand your comment?

Are you suggesting that the Reagan/Bush foreign policy was superior to the Clinton policy?

I'm curious.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 06:32PM | 0 recs
The Rwandans would probably think it wasn't


by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Care to expand your comment?

Well, without writing a dissertation on the subject it would seem that the Clinton administration is remembered fondly for it's foreign policy only by way of comparison with where we have gone since.  Our intervention in Somalia was disastrous, progress in the Middle East with an Israeli/Arab solution was minimal, the asymmetric threat from radical jihadists was not dealt with, the coup in Pakistan occured as a slap in the face to Clinton personally and yet we blithely continued our support of the military there, with terrible consequences.

We could argue this stuff for hours, which I am not proposing.  Even our engagement in the former Yugoslavia was mismanaged, in my opinion, in many respects, not least of which failing to encourage the Europeans to take a more proactive role in their own geopolitical backyard.  Many policies which backed unpopular regimes for limited gain were maintained and no new directions or alliances were established with major powers.  The Clintons, to me, were domestic policy specialists whose foreign policy legacy, while not particularly damaging, evidenced a neglect and lack of determination which we would do well to not repeat again.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 07:00PM | 0 recs
Great comment

However, my question was on your insinuation that Reagan/Bush had a better foreign policy than Clinton.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Great comment

Well, like him or loathe him, and I loathe him, you have to concede credit to Reagan for bringing the Cold War to an end.  And as for the previous Bush administration, while I am aware of the machinations behind the scenes, the first Gulf War was built on a viable international coalition, had UN sanction of sorts and was managed according to the principles of the Powell doctrine where our geopolitical goals were achieved within the reasonable constraints of time and resources with a viable exit strategy.  In execution it compared favourably to the Clinton administration's engagement in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 07:26PM | 0 recs
I don't give Reagan

that much credit re the Cold War: the collapse of the USSR was going to happen eventually with or without Reagan, imho.

On the topic of the first Gulf War, I will give credit to GHWB for persuading the global community to share the financial cost of the war, but with 20/20 hindsight you have to wonder if the global community was 'once bitten, twice shy'.

Again, just my opinion.

by Coldblue 2008-03-30 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't give Reagan

While I agree that the handwriting was on the wall for the CCCP it was a concerted campaign of onerous military expenditure by the Reagan administration which arguably pushed them over the brink.  And there was a sensible Eastern European policy in place to catch the fruit.  He's not my favourite politician by a long shot but I don't suscribe to revisionism for ideological motives.

As to the first Gulf War, I would gladly argue that we actually set up the invasion of Kuwait in the first place, just to screw Saddam.  Which was probably unnecessary and gets into issues regarding Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan et al.  But the execution was competent and I don't accept that the lack of international solidarity in the current mess is directly related.  There was a completely different set of objectives and policies surrounding the first Gulf War, as our allies were aware, and that is exactly the point Obama is making.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 08:02PM | 0 recs
And if he didn't like Clinton?

Remember that guy Carter?

A living Democrat would be nice.  Personally, I think the idea that Republican foreign policy has been "smart" is total bullshit, and recent Democrats have exercised much more realistic and effective diplomacy.  Obama seems to think you have to feed the faux idea of Republican supremacy in order to profit by it at the polling booth.

But then what happens after you get elected.  What markers did you set to govern by?  Or were those just words?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:36PM | 0 recs
All those Dems that voted to go to

war in Iraq suggest that you're wrong. Clinton allowing the Rwandans to die suggests that you're incorrect.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: All those Dems that voted to go to

Are you fucking kidding me?  You're blaming Iraq on Democrats and not on Reagan-Bush holdovers Rumsfeld, Cheney & Wolfowitz?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:05PM | 0 recs
They're worse than the GOP.

I hold Dems to a higher standard.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: They're worse than the GOP.

Good.  See if you can get Obama on board with that.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:11PM | 0 recs
As he's not in favor of invading nations

and is in favor of diplomacy he's already on board. If they're (any Dems)not perhaps their constituents should vote them out.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:14PM | 0 recs
WTF? indeed...

In the first article he still rags on HRC for voting for the war?

But what about his votes for funding the war?

When is someone going to point out that his Big Fat Brave Anti-War Speech was given to a very blue, liberal anti-war crowd?

Disclaimer:  I'm still an Edwards supporter.

by catchawave 2008-03-30 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF? indeed...

So... he should have voted not to fund the troops, right? Wow, you think the GOP will take the Wright thing to town, what d'you think they'd have done with that one?

by ragekage 2008-03-30 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF? indeed...

Right.  If he had any guts, he would have followed up on his claim to fame.  His anti-war speech.  The only way that the Viet Nam war stopped was when congress cut the funding that allowed them to go on indefinitely.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:27PM | 0 recs
Right. Funding the troops

when they're stuck in Iraq with a President that would leave them there to die and a GOP that would blame Democrats is definitely a good idea.

Appropriations bills include all sorts of necessary things.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:06PM | 0 recs

On July 27, 2004, Senator Obama told the Chicago Tribune on Iraq: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage."

You agree with this too?  

by moevaughn 2008-03-30 05:42PM | 0 recs
Full context please.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Full context please.
He has been endlessly criticised for this remark in July 2004, days before his convention speech, that 'There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.' but if one considers the context of the 2004 election campaign and his full statement, not so much:

...Obama, the U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois, said he believes the Bush administration has lost too much credibility in the world community to administer the policies necessary to stabilize Iraq.

"On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago," Obama said during a luncheon meeting with editors and reporters of Tribune newspapers. "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute."

David Mendell and Jeff Zeleny - Chicago Tribune 24 Jul 04

Clearly he had closed ranks with a Democratic party who had nominated a ticket which had voted to authorise the war and the platform was that Democrats would bring the war to a prompt and successful conclusion.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 06:18PM | 0 recs
Meaning that

once we're there there's only so much you can do? That's what a person with a brain would say.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:32PM | 0 recs
So he closed ranks with the Democrats then

Obviously he wants to open those ranks back up now.

Which of his two stories is the true one?  Evidence for that is . . . ?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: So he closed ranks with the Democrats then

The thing is this time we don't have to nominate someone who actually voted for the AUMF.  Get it?

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: So he closed ranks with the Democrats then

I've got that's a factor.  Frankly, something that happened six years ago was pretty damned important at the time but sends increasingly faint signals over the years.  A much much much weaker signal than was sent yesterday by a declaration of a foreign policy like Bush-Reagan's.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: So he closed ranks with the Democrats then

I strongly disagree, and the casualties and cost of that 'event' would attest to it's current importance.  And I think, like many Hillary supporters, you have mistaken the message in Obama's remarks due to 'hot-button' references to partisan enemies.  He was actually talking about something else besides their party affiliations.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-03-30 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: So he closed ranks with the Democrats then

Oh do tell.  

If he wasn't talking about the things he said he was talking about--i.e., that his foreign policy would be like those of Reagan and Bush I--then what was he talking about?

My evidence of what he was talking about is his actual words. What is your evidence?

by Trickster 2008-03-31 10:00AM | 0 recs

The more I read, the more I reel from this man.

He truly is a "fake" Democrat being shoved down our throats by the milk maids of the spineless Democrats who see WHAT in him?

God only knows. $%^&**(()!@#.  I'll skip the rest.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: fake

right on.

the irony of it all -- all those "progessive" Obama supporters.  either naive, gullible, or fake themselves like the guy they adore.

by moevaughn 2008-03-30 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: fake

Wow would of thought that the progressive wing of the Democratic party were really just longing for the days of GHWB and RWR. There's progress for you back to the 1980's they were after all so much better than the 1990's. So Obama doesn't support universal health care and he supports Reagan and Bush I foreign policy what exactly is progressive about him?

by RedstateLib 2008-03-30 05:44PM | 0 recs
What's progressive about HRC's foreign

policy positions? Diplomacy is progressive. Isn't it?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:44PM | 0 recs

If you're about to spout the outright lie that only Obama wants to have diplomacy with unpopular regimes, please don't.

If you're not, I sincerely apologize.  But I think you are, am I not right?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:09PM | 0 recs

Clinton wants to set pre-conditions for diplomacy which isn't how diplomacy works.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 08:08PM | 0 recs
There's many a pundit, Markos included,

that are jumping on the Obama bandwagon, and then taking credit for the existence of said bandwagon.

Markos is selling his 50 state strategy and the power of the internet, and is touting Obama's popular support as proof of his strategy.  Of course, nevermind that Barack Obama spends as much time on Daily Kos as Hillary Clinton (or less), or that Hillary was involved in Yearly Kos as much as Obama (or more).  

Nevermind that Obama's support has everything to do with the fawning all over him by the national media, and nothing to do with grassroots support from Daily Kos members who go door to door and have a brother who has a neighbor that is a Republican but donated $20 to Obama.  

None of that matters.

Obama is popular right now, and Markos is taking credit for it, and that's all we little people need to know.  

by PJ Jefferson 2008-03-31 06:12AM | 0 recs

shoved down our throats by the milk maids of the spineless Democrats

Thanks for that truly bizarre image.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 05:41PM | 0 recs

Quite the mixed metaphor -- and mixed set of ideas.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:47PM | 0 recs

You're welcome.  Our Democratic majority has done so much for us, haven't they?

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 06:10PM | 0 recs
Why? Please be specific about your problems

with a less neo-con foreign policy.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Why? Please be specific about your problems

Please explain how Reagan's economics or foreign policy were better for us than Bill Clintons first.

As far as I can tell Hillary's positions are to the left of Bill's, not dismissing the fact that he was a great president who pulled the country back into fiscal responsibility.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Why? Please be specific about your problems

And then again, let me know the specifics of Obama's plan to get us back into the green, from the deep red the Repuclicans are leaving us with.

Reagan charted the way to deficits.  And exactly how is Obama going to reverse this (while praising him at the same time)?

The truth is that Obama is NOT standing up for our Democrats (under a disguise of "uniting us all") while willfully undercutting the work that was done in the past by people who have worked on these issues for decades.

Now, because they believe that Hillary is the more qualified candidate, they are being haunted, pursued, and threatened, for supporting a candidate that supported their agendas for decades.

It's mind-boggling to me.

by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 06:19PM | 0 recs
You didn't answer the question

I assume you lack familiarity with the foreign policy issues at play. Is that correct?

I don't think you ought to be tossing out Clinton's name as some foreign policy expert. He is the one that  didn't do shit for Rwanda and told other nations that if they helped they were on their own.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: You didn't answer the question

You pull out

You pull our Rwanda, against a whole slew of stuff he got done admist a Newt Gingrich Republican congress that did everything on earth to take him down.

How disingenuous of you.  He managed to pull us out of a national debt disaster, created more jobs than GWB ever did, and left us with a surplus after the Reagan disaster.]

All you have got here is that he didn't interfere in Rwanda?  It's the one thing he said he wished he could have done, if you can remember.

Being under fire from a Republican Congress, meant that he had to fight tooth and nail every day.  They gave him no leeway to supposedly to ANYTHING.  It's amazing how MUCH he got done, whilst in the midst of the most right-wing-conspiracy onslought against ANY Democratic president.

You're lacking some serious information here.


by Gabriele Droz 2008-03-30 08:03PM | 0 recs
So clinton and Carter were neo-cons?

If not, then why not mention a gd DEMOCRAT?!?!?!?!?  Which party's nomination is he running for?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:39PM | 0 recs
You mean like JFK? He did.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean like JFK? He did.

Yeah, one who has been dead for 45 years, while very obviously skipping over two much more recent Democratic Presidents, both of whom are still living, in favor of Republicans.

I'm just supposed to not draw meaning from that?  It's all supposedly about this realist school that he didn't even mention in the speech (so far as I know--correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has mentioned any such thing yet)?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:59PM | 0 recs
Carter isn't exactly noted for his

FP and Clinton let Rwandans die so I don't see why he would note either of them.

JFK and Reagan are dead. So I guess you're down to the man would wouldn't invade Iraq. Smart decision.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:43PM | 0 recs

Reagan, hunh?  See, he really does have a thing for Reagan.  All the hours that his followers spent trying to say he didn't after his interview with the press showed him admiring Reagan, Wasted!  Besides that, I thought he was supposed to be for change.  He doesn't want the same old thing.  He wants a new way.  Then why is he copying his policy from past presidents?  If he copies, he might consider Bill Clinton's policies.  His were the least violent of them all, and cost a darn site less than Reagans.  Star Wars, Anyone?

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:18PM | 0 recs

Reagan -- wasn't it Reagan's administration that was illegally selling arms to Iran?  Inexperienced Obama does need a role model, but let's hope he looks elsewhere for some guidance.

by moevaughn 2008-03-30 05:27PM | 0 recs

Well it sure looked like the deal went through the day he won over Carter.  And of course, wasn't he the one that grew the neo cons?  Rumsfield was a protege, along with a bunch of the others.  Wow.  Wowy, wow, wow, wow.  And this is supposed to be the anti war candidate.  Wonder if he will deregulate everything that's left to deregulate, and finish off the unions, too.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:31PM | 0 recs

I'm sure that is exactly what he meant.

by alephnul 2008-03-30 05:42PM | 0 recs
Yes, please.

American foreign policy from 1948 to 2001 is a single seamless whole. Whether you agree with everything done by the United States is one thing, but there really wasn't a big partisan breakdown until Duhbya came to town.

Or can you point out substantial differences in policy between Reagan and Clinton?

by MBNYC 2008-03-30 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, please.

You're right, of course, but this is far too sophisticated for a crowd that thinks Obama did something wrong by saying he was a professor.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:26PM | 0 recs
Well, think about it.

He can't claim Clinton as a model because he's running against his wife, and probably also because of the Rwanda and Bosnia fuckups. He can't use Carter because of his very unfortunate recent book on Israel. He can't use LBJ, because he is best remembered for Vietnam when you're talking about foreign policy. That leaves Kennedy and Truman out of the post-war Democratic Presidents, and there's nothing on the horizon that would compare with Truman's challenges. If he used Truman, he'd be laughed at: where's the opportunity for a new NATO or Marshall Plan?

So basically, Obama took who he could. Of course, that will start a huge fuss with the primary zealots, but what else is new? We don't have a lot of good Democratic role models for foreign policy post-1965.

by MBNYC 2008-03-30 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, please.

What administration was it that was illegally selling arms to Iran?!

by moevaughn 2008-03-30 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, please.

That's a wee bit silly.

Obama didn't say he approved of everything Reagan did, just the overall realist approach, which has been the dominant view of foreign policy.  Bill Clinton was also a realist.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, please.

Does this mean he will be arming and training groups like the Taliban and Al Queida as Reagan did. That was a whopper of good foreign policy? How about them arming Saddam? Boy that's the type of progressive policy I was hoping for.

by RedstateLib 2008-03-30 05:50PM | 0 recs
You were hoping for war with

Iran I suppose?

Actually, since he didn't say he agreed with everything Reagan did your comments are non-sensical.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:09PM | 0 recs
With ease

Here's a starter, off the top of my head:

(1) Reduce military spending instead of vastly increasing it.  (That's the biggie.)

(2) Cordial to international institutions (as opposed to withholding UN dues).

(3) Strove to increase the power of international law, as opposed to resisting it with American exceptionalism.

(4) Too smart to put Marines in Beirut.
(4)(a) Too smart, and too principled, to trade advanced arms to "moderates" in Iran in exchange for hostages taken b terrorists.

(5) Did not secretly fund and support right-wing dictators in Latin America.

(6) High foreign policy emphasis on commercial relations.

(7) Effective humanitarian interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti.

(8) No invasions to crush governments we did not like (Grenada, Panama).

(9) Signed the Kyoto Treaty.

(10) Effective nuclear weapons treaty with North Korea that even Colin Powell said prevented the North Koreans from acquiring dozens of nuclear weapons.  (Since abrogated, of course.)

(11) Peace in Northern Ireland.

(12) Very nearly finished Jimmy Carter's work--not Bush's, not Reagan's, Jimmy Carter's--by achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East.


But I want to especially thank President Clinton. He is--if I can borrow a cliche--he is a warrior for peace. I mean, he doesn't stop. He has this ability to maintain a tireless pace and to nudge and prod and suggest. and use a nimble and flexible mind to truly explore the possibilities of both sides, and never just of one side. That is a great gift, I think a precious and unique one. And it served us well.

So I thank you, Mr. President, for serving us and the cause of peace well. (Applause.) I thank you, too, for your boundless optimism, without which these qualities cannot come into effect. You needed a lot of optimism. . . .

KING HUSSEIN: . . . Mr. President, I have had the privilege of being a friend of the United States and Presidents since late President Eisenhower. Throughout all the years that have passed, I have kept in touch. But on the subject of peace, the peace we are seeking, I have never--with all due respect and all the affection that I held for your predecessors--have known someone with your dedication, clear-headedness, focus and determination to help resolve this issue in the best possible way. (Applause.)

Mr. President, permit me to say what I feel--I was mentioning it more than once in the last few days. You have the tolerance and the patience of Job, and you are the subject of our admiration and respect. And we hope that you will be with us as we see greater successes and as we help our brethren and our friends move ahead towards a better tomorrow.

It makes me sick to have to argue with Democrats over Bill Clinton's foreign policy vs Bush-Reagan foreign policy.  This is like a nightmare.  Is it really happening?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:52PM | 0 recs
You failed to mention either the

fall of the soviet union or all those dead Rwandans...

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: You failed to mention either the

You really are arguing for the Reagan and Bush foreign policies over clinton's, aren't you?

I'm sorry, i didn't come to this site to chat with folks who have views like yours.  I'm afriad our differences are just too basic for us to have a productive conversation.

But I will say this non-productive thing: the idea that Reagan is responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union is an idiosynchratic artifact of American pop culture that will merit, at most, a footnote in history books a century from now.  The Soviet Union fell entirely of its own weight.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:02PM | 0 recs
I'm arguing that every dead Rwandan

makes the Clinton foreign policy a failure. It's also quite clear that Obama was talking about using diplomacy, even with our enemies - something Hillary Clinton doesn't favor - and not anything else. A position which is entirely consistent with Obama's stated foreign policy and far more progressive than anything Hillary Clinton is offering up.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:08PM | 0 recs
Your so-called policy difference

does not exist.  Clinton was out arguing for diplomacy with unpopular regimes before Obama did.  The only difference is that Clinton insists on lower-level contacts first before meetings between heads of states, an obvious requirement unless you wish to allow people like Chavez and Ahmadinejad to abuse the meetings for press conference/photo ops of them humiliating the American President.

Obama's regular stump speech line about how only wants to meet with unpopular leaders, is actually a bad misrepresentation of an exchange at an earlier debate where Obama answered "yes" to an audience question about whether he would meet, without pre-conditions with several unfriendly foreign leaders:

Clinton, who on the campaign trail has blasted the Bush administration for not engaging Iran and Syria directly, responded to the question by promising "vigorous diplomacy," including using high level envoys.   But she said she would not meet with such leaders in her first year before knowing what their intentions would be. "We're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro [of Cuba] and Hugo Chavez [of Venezuela] and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be," Clinton said. "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes."  Both campaigns issued memorandums the next day highlighting talking points on the exchange and criticizing the other. That was followed by dueling interviews with Iowa's Quad-City Times. "I thought that was very irresponsible and frankly naive to say you would commit to meeting with Chavez and Castro or others within the first year," Clinton told the paper.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 07:17PM | 0 recs
So you think Obama

would have said fuck the Rwandans?

Clinton also said she'd require pre-conditions. That's Bush diplomacy.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: So you think Obama

You're a free agent and can do whatever you wish to, but I'd be appreciative if you don't respond to any more of my posts, now that I've got the picture of the type of "argument" you're offering.

Thanks in advance.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 08:22PM | 0 recs
*do you think Obama...

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You failed to mention either the

You just can't bring yourself to acknowledge anything good about a Clinton, can you?  Really interesting.

by Mags 2008-03-30 11:11PM | 0 recs
Good points, all true.

But as I noted above, it's kind of hard to praise the FP legacy of the husband of your principal competitor, isn't it?

As it is, however, I'm speaking of the broad outlines of American policy, not the specific messes that Reagan got into. These are, briefly, the reliance on our alliances and on international institutions. That's what Junior threw out the window, and what Obama - and Clinton as well - want to restore.

by MBNYC 2008-03-30 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Good points, all true.

If you want to paint such a broad brush picture, I don't much see the point of invoking individual Presidents.  To speak of Reagan foreign policy, or of Bush foreign policy, is very much more specific than to speak of "realism."

If you're only going to talk about things like maintaining the system of alliances, you're not really talking about foreign policy decisions at all.  At least for a Democratic President, that's just a given.  It would not even be discussed in the White House.

For Republicans, I'm not so sure there were not voices within the Bush I and/or Reagan Administrations that had a radical enough world view to suggest full-blown neo-con American exceptionalism.  I know that, generally, exceptionalism is much more rampant in Republican foreign-policy thinking than in Republican thinking of the post-Reagan era.

Really, when I think Reagan-Bush foreign policy, I think massive military spending, international bluster, American exceptionalism, support for dictators in alignment with a hard-set cold warrior mentality.  There's nothing, and I mean nothing about the foreign policy decision-making processes of those two Presidents that I would rate above either Clinton or Carter.  Nothing.

Key players included Wolfowitz, Cheney & Rumsfeld.

I don't really see how who you're running against justifies a Democrat naming those two Republicans with their very Republican brand of foreign policy, and leaving off two living Democrats whose foreign policy tenures were far preferable.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 10:25PM | 0 recs

should read

"exceptionalism is much more rampant in Republican foreign-policy thinking than in Democratic thinking of the post-Reagan era."

by Trickster 2008-03-30 10:28PM | 0 recs

...this won't be a productive discussion about actual foreign policy as long as various primary partisans bounce up and down and kvetch that Obama has failed some purity test.

I'd go so far as to say that this shouldn't be viewed through the primary lens at all, but as a general election argument. Obama's driving a wedge through the GOP, between McCain - who's embraced the Bush doctrine - and the Scowcroft/Bush 41 republicans.

I know that Clinton supporters like to view everything through the distorting lens of the primary. That doesn't, however, seem to be what this is about. I actually have some problems with Obama's foreign policy stance, but they're not that he's too close to Reagan. But since this is the latest round of gotcha, of course, you'll see it as you do.

by MBNYC 2008-03-31 05:17AM | 0 recs
"Round of gotcha"?

"Purity test"?

That's pretty insulting, to start with.  I think I've made some substantive statements about the massive differences between Democratic and Republican foreign policies over the last quarter-centurty.

I also think that words matter.  If a Democratic leader won't bother to give words of praise to Democratic Presidents, then the foreign policy principles they governed by, such as respect for institutions, international law, and human rights, will fall by the wayside in favor of the blustering approach of the Republicans.

This is not a goddamned round of gotcha.  I am genuinely distressed by Obama's statements.  I lost some sleep this weekend worrying about where he is taking our Party and whether he gives a hot fuck about the gulf between the foreign policies of the two parties.  Does the Democratic Party even exist any more when on a website like this people are defending these statements by defending Reagan and Bush?

by Trickster 2008-03-31 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: "Round of gotcha"?

He endorsed realism, not the foreign policy decisions of those presidents.

There's a difference between those two things and I'm sure you have the intelligence to grasp that.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: "Round of gotcha"?

That is absolutely not what he said.  He said his foreign policy would be like theirs.

It means something that he chose those names.  "Realism" is a mile-wide highway you could drive the foreign policies of most nations on the globe through.  Bush and Reagan, however, were a President and Vice President who worked with a specific set of people on a specific set of foreign policies.  The Neo-Con movement was born on their watch as a continuation of their hard-line anti-commie policies, and the ever-ballooning size of our national debt is very largely a factor of the grotesque and absolutely unnecessary increases in military spending they implemented and championed to the public.

If Obama means merely what you claim he means, I would damn sure like to hear a clarification from him.  If the speech contained some "context" that would modify the plain meaning of his words I would certainly like to know what it was.  

No offense, but I am not mollified by the extra-textual explantion of his staunch adherents.  As I indicated in the previous post, I am extremely concerned about these statements and wondering where in the hell what used to be my Democratic Party is getting off to.  What concerns me the most is how small appear to be the ripples on the Democratic pond that this speech produced.

by Trickster 2008-03-31 09:58AM | 0 recs
Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

To the realist/pragmatist foreign policy establishment who sided with Bush I and Brent Scowcroft opposing the Iraq war.

The lack of insight from Hillary backers is truly astounding.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-03-30 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

In many cases, the Clinton supporters seem to be very unaware of this sort of history and certainly debates about realism and idealism in foreign policy.  So they don't pick up on what are obvious references to people who are grounded in American history and international relations theory.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:36PM | 0 recs
Blah blah blah we're so stupid

You're so smart.

So tell me, then, why aren't Clinton and Carter realists?  Why did it have to be Republicans, plus a Democrat who has been dead so long he's not relevant to the curret debate?  Why did it have to be three hard-line cold warriors?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

How can we tell when he is blowing the dog whistle and when he is speaking honestly?  It's so confusing.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

Maybe you could tell us your thoughts about the Scowcroft/GW Bush split  as well as the arguments between realists and idealists.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

And this has to do with what part of the conversation?  You seemingly are just itching to tell us yourself.  I don't want to take it away from you. So you go ahead, dog whistle away, er whatever that falls under.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 05:52PM | 0 recs
Long story short...

Brent Scowcroft wrote an editorial squarely opposing the invasion of Iraq -- prior to the war. It was widely regarded as a statement of Bush I's position.

Obama was hinting at that when he made his comments. As for the REagan comment, he was probably referring to Reagan's view of the Soviet Union as the "evil empire," yet negotiating with Gorbachev, etc.

It was a clever way to appeal to disaffected Republicans who don't like Bush's foreign policy, and may be skeptical of McCain.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-03-30 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Long story short...

Not all that clever, when he is in danger of losing Democrats.  Obama is so busy selling his soul to the republicans and independents, he can't see that he has lost half the democratic party.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Long story short...

Bill Clinton was a realist, too, you know.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:10PM | 0 recs
You mean you disagree with those

foreign policy positions? Or do you think Democrats are too stupid to know what he is talking about and, like braindead Republicans will about all things Democrat, have a knee-jerk reaction to the names Bush, (JFK?) and Reagan?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Long story short...

And you can tell Obama meant all this--how exactly?

And doesn't he need to attract, well, Democrats from time to time?

And shouldn't he actually be saying what he means to do at some point, instead of just dog-whistling Republicans?

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:55PM | 0 recs
His foreign policy is not a

secret. This is consistent with his foreign policy position. You don't even need to guess. You just need to have a clue.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Long story short...

Boy, you Obama supporters are so great at getting inside his head.  He can say anything and then you all can tell us what he "really" meant.  What a gift!

by Mags 2008-03-30 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

>>>How can we tell when he is blowing the dog whistle and when he is speaking honestly?  It's so confusing.<<<

Who says he has to be lying to blow this dog whistle?

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-03-30 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

Well then, he does really care for Reagan. Thanks for letting me know about the dogwhistle equals truth thing.  Tell me, then why does he need a dog whistle.  Why doesn't he just do some straight talking.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

Maybe it's because I know what the words "realist foreign policy" mean, but what Obama said was crystal clear to me.  

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

That's nice.  Then why does he need to use a dog whistle?  One of your brethern up above said it was a dog whistle.  

by Scotch 2008-03-30 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

Perhaps you could query the person who wrote it.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.

I did, but you interrupted.

by Scotch 2008-03-30 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was blowing a dog whistle, you ninny.


by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: IMHO Obama is an embedded Republican

You should probably try to avoid using "democrat" as an adjective while you're accusing Democratic politicians of being embedded Republicans.

by HEAP 2008-03-30 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

I rec this and that was the one that moved it up.  Cool.


by giusd 2008-03-30 06:26PM | 0 recs
Central America. Way to woo hispanics.

Do you think Obama knows what he means by this? I read the article, he just mentions the realism of not trying to overthrow Saddam in Golf War I.

Those who don't know history, you know what they say:

"By the way," just as an aside. You know, I'm not a historian, so-- There's a hotel, I think it's the Capitol Hilton, in Washington; and downstairs, where there are a lot of banquet halls, there's a whole row of all the presidents. You walk by the forty-three that have been there and you realize there are only about ten who you have any idea what they did.

Echoing NewHampster. WTF?

by catfish1 2008-03-30 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Central America. Way to woo hispanics.

That's scary.

by Trickster 2008-03-30 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Central America. Way to woo hispanics.

The whole article was on realism in foreign policy. The whole thing.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 07:04PM | 0 recs
Ah. I'll give you 60 seconds

to list something specific that every president did. After that it's clear you're using the Google.  

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:05PM | 0 recs
Ten or more presidents
  1. Dubya - Iraq
  2. Bubba - NAFTA, welfare reform, diversity
  3. Bush I - Gulf War
  4. Gipper - Arms buildup, Gorbachev tear down wall, fire Air Traffic Controllers
  5. Peanuts - Iranian hostage crisis, gas crisis, first to talk about human rights.
  6. Ford - pardoned Nixon, established stability
  7. Tricky - Watergate, China, EPA
  8. LBJ - Great Society
  9. JFK - Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile, Cold War stance in Inaugural speech, started space race to moon
  10. Ike - Military Industrial Complex speech, deployed troops to Arkansas to enforce Brown v. Board of Education
  11. FDR
  12. Hoover - chicken in every pot, hands-off style, Hoovervilles
  13. Coolidge - don't know a lot, he was quiet
  14. Woodrow - aggressive internatial interventionist, WWI
  15. TR
  16. Harding?
  17. Grant
  18. Lincoln
  19. Buchanan
by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:14PM | 0 recs
That seems to be consistent

with what he said.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:22PM | 0 recs
That's 15 - I left out Truman

But tell yourself whatever you like.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:24PM | 0 recs
12 actually

you didn't list any for the rest. But tell yourself whatever you like.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:26PM | 0 recs
FDR goes without saying

as does Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Adams, Jackson.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:25PM | 0 recs
Sure but you think someone as educated

as Obama literally meant 10 though right? His intellect is in question as well it appears.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:29PM | 0 recs
Another case of W.O.R.M.

I've worked with lots of Ivy League, Stanford grads.

Here's the deal: once you get your foot in the Ive League door, you're on a track, you just have to do the homework and you get to graduate. You don't have to know a lot about history. You don't have to be especially curious. You just have to do the coursework.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:32PM | 0 recs
But of course even you, a noted historian,

came up with only 12. Or 15 as you say.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:37PM | 0 recs
More than a presidential candidate!

And I'm not a historian! I'm a Software Engineer!

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:42PM | 0 recs
Except of course

no one actually quizzed Obama. However, you appear to be taking him literally for some reason. As if he meant 10 as a solid number rather than a conversational figure of speech. Do you hold everyone to that standard?

Despite his speeches in which he talks about various presidents and time periods and what happened even. Despite his colleagues describing him as intellectually curious and having a great grasp of deal.


by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:50PM | 0 recs
W.O.R.M. - he volunteered the lack of knowledge

nobody had to quiz him.

And it's another case of What Obama Really Meant.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:53PM | 0 recs
So you think he meant 10 literally?

I feel bad for you.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:58PM | 0 recs
Let's see...

He's already talked about:

1) Clinton

  1. Bush I
  2. Bush II
  3. Reagan
  4. Hamilton
  5. Jefferson
  6. Lincoln
  7. LBJ

We can assume:

George Washington

Well that's more than 10  right there. Still sticking to that number?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 08:05PM | 0 recs
Hamilton wasn't president. n/t

by catfish1 2008-03-30 09:01PM | 0 recs
Ha. One less than but even better

since he'd be less well known.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-31 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Except of course

Do you hold Obama to any standard?

by Mags 2008-03-30 11:22PM | 0 recs
That's what is frightening

I don't question his intellect, just his curiosity and his grasp of history. Also his depth of experiential knowledge.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:33PM | 0 recs
Except that you lack evidence of

of any of that. You simply assume it for some reason.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

Except of course he didn't say that at all and what you're saying wouldn't be consistent with his completely clear and transparent foreign policy.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:02PM | 0 recs
Stop hyperventilating

It's an academic distinction. Use your noodles.

Or not. You could continue the silly histrionics too.

by Bee 2008-03-30 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

Saying you like one thing about a president's foreign policy does NOT mean that you like everything or even much of what a president did.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-30 07:06PM | 0 recs
You think Richardson can enlighten him?

Rumor has it Obama digs in harder when confronted about these things.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:19PM | 0 recs
Got a link to your rumor?

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:24PM | 0 recs
Here's one

New York mag on why Edwards hasn't endorsed Obama yet.

by catfish1 2008-03-30 07:44PM | 0 recs
That doesn't seem to support your assertion.

Perhaps I missed the part about him digging in when confronted with issues of foreign policy that aren't based in fact.

All I see is a willingness to hold his own when he disagrees with someone who is no more knowledgeable than he is on an issue like healthcare.

by RLMcCauley 2008-03-30 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

I allude to this in my diary today.  It seems to come up repeatedly that Barack Obama really admires Reagan.  And, if I'm honest, there are some things worth admiring there.

by bobbank 2008-03-30 08:23PM | 0 recs

You left out the actual specifics he mentioned

Drawing on the example of the first Gulf War, Obama said that the first President Bush had "conducted a Gulf War with allies that ended up costing twenty billion dollars and left us stronger because they were realistic."

"Remember, people were saying why didn't you go into Baghdad and overthrow Saddam Hussein?  The realists understood that that would be a nightmare.  And it wasn't worth our national interests," Obama added.

He described this President Bush's world view on foreign policy as a big stick approach.

"Certainly George Bush's foreign policy has been dominated by the idea that because we are so militarily powerful we can dictate events around the world," he said. "If people don't like it doesn't matter because we are the biggest, toughest thing on the block. Now that is naïve."

For all his faults, GHW Bush knew invading Iraq would be dumb.  Thats more than today's GOPers understand.

by PantsB 2008-03-30 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

Hillary has voted for the worst of Bush's agenda.

No words of Obama's compare to her odious record.

by Kobi 2008-03-30 10:50PM | 0 recs
Oh, man, we already had a diary about this once.

And I tried to explain there.

I'll try one more time.

1.  During the Bush 43 administration, the foreign policy of our country has been taken over by NEOCONSERVATIVES.

2. Neoconservatism is not a political philosophy.  It is a think-tank movement that stands in opposition to the NORMAL, TRADITIONAL model of foreign policy that the United States has pursued for most of the last century.

3. That NORMAL, TRADITIONAL model of foreign policy is called REALISM.  This is not the Realism you learned about in Philosophy 101, nor the Realism that your dad used to yell at you about when you didn't do your chores.  Realism, in this context, is a long-standing tradition of ideas about the right way to handle foreign affairs.  

4. Since the Truman days, our foreign policy has been dominated by Realism.  

There are advantages and disadvantages to that.  But the point is, when Obama talks about returning to Realism, and invokes Republicans like Bush 41 and Reagan, he is doing what a lot of us have been saying for a long time -- he is returning America's foreign policy to it's pre-Chimpie days when we didn't attack and invade other countries preemptively just because we could.  

For generations, our foreign policy, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, was dominated by Realism.

There has been so much discussion about this, but if you only read about candidate diaries, this all may just go right over your head.  

Hunting for links to explain this better...  Just about anything written by Seymour Hersh about the in-fighting between DOD and State Department over the last six years.

I found this article by right-winger Drezner.  An excerpt.
http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article. aspx?id=17180

This year's presidential campaign has highlighted the divide in Democratic foreign-policy circles between hawks and doves. My run-in with Pletka, however, reveals a split within the GOP as well, between realists and neoconservatives. It was not always so. When George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, he evinced a largely realist policy platform. His chief foreign-policy spokesperson, Condoleezza Rice, wrote a realpolitik essay in Foreign Affairs entitled "Promoting the National Interest."

Bush governed differently than he campaigned, however. The September 11 terrorist attacks led to a rethink of foreign-policy priorities. Neoconservative ideas--particularly democracy promotion--were placed at the heart of the Bush administration's grand strategy. By early 2008, Pletka's statement might very well be true. John McCain's foreign-policy team has not been terribly friendly towards GOP realists--which says something about the Republican Party's foreign-policy transformation.

To be fair to Pletka, some realists have responded to Bush by finding common cause with those on the left side of the political spectrum (who are attracted to realism because of its noninterventionist policy prescriptions for the United States). John Hulsman teamed with Anatol Lieven to coauthor Ethical Realism. Realists accused the Bush administration of lying its way into the war in Iraq. Academic realists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have argued that neoconservatives are part of an Israel lobby that is badly distorting U.S. foreign policy. The only GOP presidential candidate that espoused anything close to a realist foreign policy is Ron Paul--not the most savory of avatars.

by Dumbo 2008-03-30 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, man, we already had a diary about this onc

Too nuanced for this bunch. HE SAID HE ADMIRED REAGAN!!!!1111

by amiches 2008-03-31 07:16AM | 0 recs
This is great news for Republicans who

like arming terrorists and financing death squads in South America.

To expect much more of Barack is to ignore that he has the Bush Royal Family blood running through his veins.

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 12:11AM | 0 recs
Re: This is great news for Republicans who

How ridiculous and simplistic.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 04:46AM | 0 recs
Wasn't neoconservatism partly a reaction to laws..

that theoretically limited the CIA's ability to assassinate leaders, overthrow governments, etc?

So , is Obama planning to repeal those laws too, (which started around the time Clinton came in) because lots of spooks will say we need to..

by architek 2008-03-31 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Wasn't neoconservatism partly a reaction to la

You are missing the point.  In saying he supports a realist approach, Obama is saying he is AGAINST neoconservativism. And, as a professor of constitutional law, he is very, very supportive of these legal restrictions.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama

This is just more Obama waffling. I guess being the great "anti war" candidate wasn't working out? Whatever.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-31 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama

It isn't waffling at all.  Being anti-war is completely consistent with realism. One of my colleagues, a professor of international relations, was against the war in large part because of the naive nature of the Bush administration and their refusal to grapple with the messy realities of middle eastern history and culture.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama

Look, he waffles all over the place when it comes to foreign policy. He said he would meet unconditionally with Cuba and Iran and then said he wouldn't. This is just another of his waffles. You can try to apologize for it all you want but it's what happens when someone has no internal consistency.

by Ga6thDem 2008-03-31 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

So, Obama wants to turn back the clocks and go backwards.  He chooses Republicans harmful policies than that of the good years with Democrats.  Who knew that's what he meant when he told his voters we didn't want the politics of the past.  (sic)

by LindaSFNM 2008-03-31 06:13AM | 0 recs
misstating Obama

Attempts by posters to paint Obama's words as supportive of all of Republican foreign policy are not only persuasive, they give the very strong impression that Clinton supporters prefer to say things that they know are not true.

As has been explained numerous times above, Obama was speaking of realist foreign policy in general, a doctrine that dominated American foreign policy since it became a major global player.  This was the consensus view until Bush II and his neocons took over.  A realist perspective is skeptical of embroiling the country in war and certainly of plans to remake the world in America's image. Bill Clinton was certainly a realist as is Hillary Clinton.

I can assume that a lot of folks don't have background in foreign policy and American history so they didn't know this context for Obama's remarks. But I don't understand why when people educate them about what realism and Obama's remarks mean, they continue to make comments that demonstrate that no learning has taken place.  

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: misstating Obama

oops -- a word in the first sentence went in the wrong place - It should have read.

Attempts by posters to paint Obama's words as supportive of all of Republican foreign policy are not only unpersuasive, they give the very strong impression that Clinton supporters prefer to say things that they know are not true.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: misstating Obama

Interesting, thanks - gives me a good picture.  I do have a question though; why did Obama only mention Reagan and BushI and not Clinton?

by cameoanne 2008-03-31 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

Imagine if Hillary said this.

by owl06 2008-03-31 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

There's no reason why she wouldn't, since she is also a foreign policy realist.

by politicsmatters 2008-03-31 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama says he'll throwback to Bush 41, Reagan

If Hillary Clinton, who has cited Reagan as one of the presidents she most admires, had made this kind of implicit criticism of McCain's foreign policy, I'd be thrilled.

Hell, if Hillary Clinton said anything critical of McCain, instead of sending her husband out to call a psychotic war-monger a "moderate", I'd be thrilled.

by BlueinColorado 2008-03-31 07:34AM | 0 recs
What exactly does &quot;realist&quot; mean to you?

Just curious, does it mean using our hard earned tax money helping "friendly" cold blooded killers?

by architek 2008-03-31 10:46AM | 0 recs


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