Trophy Terrorist: Obama Suggests Romney Would Not Have Ordered The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden

We previously discussed the unease that many of us felt with the celebrations that occurred over the killing of Bin Laden and the later use of the killing to bolster the Obama campaign. This discomfort increased recently with an Obama commercial that unfairly suggested that Governor Mitt Romney would not have ordered the operation to go forward. Just in case anyone thought that was a tasteless and baseless campaign pitch by an overzealous Obama aide, the President himself just reaffirmed that message in a press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan this afternoon. It appears that, while the Administration will again bar the release of photos to the media and the public of the operation, they are eager to drag the body of Bin Laden behind the presidential limo to every possible campaign stop.


Recently, Vice President Joe Biden called the President’s ordering the operation as the most audacious plan in 500 years — apparently dwarfing Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and a number of other minor skirmishes. The thrust of these comments is that the President was the brave one to risk the political fallout of an unsuccessful operation.

We previously saw a squabble between Bush and Obama on who can claim part of the scalp of Bin Laden. It is clear that the President has decided to abandon his promise not to engage in excessive celebration or self-aggrandizement over the killing. I suppose there is now regret in the White House that they decide to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.

In the press conference, Obama seemed eager to suggest that Romney doesn’t have the guts to kill people, even our most hated enemies.

“I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and to take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. And that’s been at least my practice. I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him–and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.

I suppose that explanation will now trigger a contest on how more willing each man is to order killings like some natural-born killer. With Obama recently claiming the right to kill citizens on his sole authority, that could be a dangerous race to the bottom. Romney is already insisting that he would have ordered the same killing.

Former and current Seal members criticized the President for using the operation in a political ad. Here is the commercial that ran in the last week:

The concerted attack appears to be based on Romney’s statement in 2007 that he believe that it was “not worth moving heaven and earth … just trying to catch one person.” That was a reasonable statement and one that many in the military appeared to agree with.

The use of the killing of Bin Laden as a campaign trophy is as unfair to Romney, unseemly of Obama, and unbecoming to the presidency. The President’s remarks this afternoon should be condemned by every citizen regardless of party affiliation.

Here is the press conference:

161 thoughts on “Trophy Terrorist: Obama Suggests Romney Would Not Have Ordered The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden

  1. Yeah, so while Republicans were pushing isolation prior to WW2 and FDR was doing his best to prepare for war and helping the British we should not point that out.

    Or what about the fact Romney and the republicans have been attacking Obama on everything he has done in foreign policy – and proven wrong in each case – we shouldn’t point that out either?

    So every problem is Obama’s fault and every thing right is off limits?

    How about Romney, another classic Republican chicken-hawk beating a rush to war with other people’s children while he was a draft dodger in France during Vietnam?

    Let me also mention Romney referenced Carter to suggest even he would have made the attack. That’s both an outragous misrepresentation of facts and political dirt of the worst kind. Carter actually ordered an attempted resuce of the iran hostages, and Carter actually served 20 years in the Navy.

    It seems to me the only thing Romney is running for is Whiner-in-Chief. The people of America need to know that. People need to know the mess created by the Republicans and all they want is more of the same.

  2. TalkinDog,

    I have remarkable news. My house has been smelling for the past day or two. One guy smelled the stench and left. The next guy I hired just came finally today. What happened was the following, as I understand it:

    Mamma squirrel took a header directly into the pipe that goes down above my boiler. The pipes next to her must have slowly warmed the corpse after she died. Now all that is very sad. But there is a bright side to this story.

    A little bright eyed squirrel stuck its head out of the horizontal portion of the pipe. Seconds later, Baby squirrel number two popped out its head on top of its sibling. I coaxed little squirrel number one out with water on a spoon which it happily drank. Then, as it got to trusting me more, I managed to get it out as it sniffed the fresh air of my laundry room. I took squirrel 1 outside

    Now baby squirrel number two was a different story, It would not come out. What I had to was find squirrel one, which was not very hard as the poor thing was waiting outside the door for its sibling, I pick squirrel one back up and take him to see his brother. Squirrel number two finally sticks his head back out after which my buddy Juan grabs him and we take them both outside, put ’em in a box with water for the county to pick up. Personally I’d keep them as pets but my housemates object. They are safe and sound waiting for Animal Control. I hope they don’t die without Mama. They look so scared.

    The moral of the story is to check the grating on top of your chimney every year because that is how they got in in the first place. The boiler vents to the chimney. I am going to have it replaced ASAP.

  3. Apropos of the “imperial presidency,” see Tom Engelhardt’s most recent essay (“The Obama Contradiction”), here:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175535/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_a_global-profiling_president/

    Excerpts:

    “At the moment, the president is in the process of widening his around-the-clock “covert” air campaigns. Almost unnoted in the U.S., for instance, American drones recently carried out a strike in the Philippines killing 15 and the Air Force has since announced a plan to boost its drones there by 30%. At the same time, in Yemen, as previously in the Pakistani borderlands, the president has just given the CIA and the U.S. Joint Operations Command the authority to launch drone strikes not just against identified “high-value” al-Qaeda “targets,” but against general “patterns of suspicious behavior.” So expect an escalating drone war there not against known individuals, but against groups of suspected evildoers (and as in all such cases, innocent civilians as well).

    This is another example of something that would be forbidden at home, but is now a tool of unchecked presidential power elsewhere in the world: profiling.”

    […]

    “This is a dangerous development, which leaves us in the grip — for now — of what might be called the Obama conundrum. At home, on issues of domestic importance, Obama is a hamstrung, hogtied president, strikingly checked and balanced. Since the passage of his embattled healthcare bill, he has, in a sense, been in chains, able to accomplish next to nothing of his domestic program. Even when trying to exercise the unilateral powers that have increasingly been invested in presidents, what he can do on his own has proven exceedingly limited, a series of tiny gestures aimed at the largest of problems. And were Mitt Romney to be elected, given congressional realities, this would be unlikely to change in the next four years.

    On the other hand, the power of the president as commander-in-chief has never been greater. If Obama is the president of next to nothing on the domestic policy front (but fundraising for his second term), he has the powers previously associated with the gods when it comes to war-making abroad. There, he is the purveyor of life and death. At home, he is a hamstrung weakling, at war he is — to use a term that has largely disappeared since the 1970s — an imperial president.

    Such contradictions call for resolution and that should worry us all.”

  4. CBS News) PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Seeking to neutralize one of President Obama’s recent arguments, Mitt Romney said on Monday that “of course” he would have ordered military forces to make the 2011 raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden.

    Asked by a reporter during an appearance here whether he would have gone after the al-Qaida leader, Romney responded: “Of course.” He was then asked if he would have given the specific order to kill bin Laden.

    “Of course,” he said. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”

  5. The incumbent touts his successes and has the temerity to selectively quote his challenger. My goodness gracious!
    Is this, by any chance the first election season you have experienced?

  6. This makes we want to throw up. Have we forgotten about the thousands of people who gave up their lives to put President Obama in the position, after eleven years of struggle and sacrifice, to make a decision that ANY level headed American, let alone president, would have made? To make this a reason to vote for Obama is so crass as to reveal for me, for the first time, really, how truly shallow and narcissistic Mr. Obama has become. He has become such a Statist. Apparently we now owe everything to him. Here’s for renaming the Louisiana Purchase “Obama’s Bargain.”

  7. But it was okay for Bush to use the burning embers? Romeny said what Bush had said, not worth the effort (paraphrasing so dont jump on me please.)
    I dont like that in my name we kill people but this was a ‘success’ of his administration, he went after the right person behind 9/11 as opposed to the thousands of troops, US and allied, who died fighting the war Bush lied us into on the premise Hussein was behind 9/11. People only complained about the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner because the mission was not accomplished. I do not recall a hue and cry because he was using that war to help his own political ends.

  8. 1zb1,
    You hit the nail on the head. When the Republicans claim that Obama has given in to the terrorists and that he was/is weak on defense, isn’t he allowed to respond?

  9. When you contend with savage murderers who will kill nations for greed and destroy their own country for a few dollars more, you would have to be self destructive not to use the tools at hand. The Bush Crime Family has damned near destroyed this country in their lusts for power and wealth and yet many give no quarter to the man that inherited the mess. Is success always about “what have you done for me lately”?

  10. “Unfair to Romney”? Just ask Santorum and Gingrich how fair Romney’s SUPERPACS have been. They destroy the opposition with no mercy, whatsoever.

  11. It is unseemly for the President to tout the OBL killing. He’s got plenty of minions to wield that political cudgel. Obama needs to get his political act together, it’s always been his weakness.

  12. ” … are eager to drag the body of Bin Laden behind the presidential limo to every possible campaign stop.”

    graphic

  13. Everytime the subject of bin laden is spoke about the President acknowledges the men and woman who made it possible and did the mission. But it is a fact of command, that ultimate responsibility for success or failure rests with the commander. In no way does that dimminish the work, and especially the sacrafice of those who actually go in harms way. You can be sure if the mission had gone wrong Obama would have gotten all the blame even if it wasn’t his doing.

    Anyone who does not recognize he made tough call – think Jimmy Carter – is really living in delusion. That some in the decision process were against it – including Gates – underscores this was not an open and shut case. The facts are there that while the Republicans were in command just about every decision was wrong and it has cost a trillion dollars and thousands of lives. The had their chance to go for him and the didn’t.

    Eisenhower penned this note prior to D-day in case it failed.

    “Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

  14. This is exactly what Glenn Greenwald was writing about the other day. Democrats love their “warrior” president. He’s playing to his base and it’s working.

    I do not understand what it is about killing that is supposed to make any president a great man. I think our citizens need to take a look into why we want a guy who brags about killing as a “leader”. That does not seem to be a wise choice. It’s a mindset which allows people to stomp and clap for a war criminal. It is a real statement about our society. It’s really time to stop cheering and excusing and loving brutality.

  15. Obama does not need to appeal to the democratic base. He has the base locked up. Most of the base is against the expansion of war. Polling confirms this. He is appealing to independents in seven states.

  16. Izb1, youre absolutely right. If it had failed that would be one of the repubs major ads about the failure.

  17. It is unseemly for the President to tout the OBL killing. He’s got plenty of minions to wield that political cudgel. -Nal

    I agree.

  18. This whole thing is very weird because we don’t even know what really happened. There are several stories about the killing put out by the administration. Which is true? We don’t really know.

    The compound had been under surveillance for months. Whoever was killed was an old man and there was no return fire. We did crash a helicopter though so I guess that’s a good campaign commercial!

    Seriously, It is disconcerting to see people on this blog talk about how it was so great that Obama did this. Why? So he got some campaign points? This is not a good thing for citizens to want from a “leader”.

    We we need to be better people. To take pride in killing others is normally not considered a good quality in any person, let alone a “leader”.

  19. To Commoner and any other squirrel folks on the blog:

    I like the squirrel story. It beats picking on President Obama for fighting the war dogs with fire.

    I got a three blind mice story. My pal was living in the country in a borrowed home for a short visit. There was this mouse who hung in the bathroom. It was a house built into a hillside and the only light that came into the house was from the front outer wall. So, this mouse had been born in the house and seen no light his young life and was blind. So my pal catches him quite easily and puts him out the front door. Meanwhile, I was sitting on the couch in pal’s absence and two more blind mice came out of the wall into the bathroom and were rummaging around. So I dropped some dog food on the floor for them. The next day my pal (one never calls a human an owner) is getting in the car to go to work and blind mouse is still out in front running into things in the broad daylight cause he cant see. So pal brings him back into the house and puts him right next to the stash of dog food pellets on the floor in the bathroom. We left after a few days and the left the meeses well fed. They were fairly tidy (pooped inside the walls only) and were nice little house guests. Of course we were guests too so the equilibrium was not broken.

    I hope that the county is good to them when they come get the squirrels. If you have any doubts about the good intentions of the county there might be a garage nearby for the squirrels.

  20. It seems as though Romney and the rest of the GOP keep attacking people rather than arguments. The so called conservatives showing everyone their moral superiority has run it course.

  21. jill, in the real world its okay to take satisfaction that a really really bad guy who killed tens of thousands on purpose and would have killed YOU in a second if he had the chance is dead. i can assure you, those who lost loved ones on 911 have no doubts justice was done. bringing people to justice for crimes is not the worst thing we do.

  22. 1zb1,

    ‘In the real world its okay to take satisfaction that a really really bad guy…”

    You know, there’s a large group of people out there who believe that any violence is wrong.

    Aside from that, there are differences between “satisfaction” and “celebration” or “exploitation.”

    As for your suggestion that this is all about bashing Obama, I suggest that you read the archives of this site from when Bush the Younger was president. You’ll find that JT has consistently been critical of the use of the war drum as political rhetoric.

  23. 1zb, adding to the excellent analysis of Gyges I will just remind you that you have no idea who the guy was. The govt. gave two conflicting stories about what happened and the body is at sea or maybe it’s at Dover Air Force Base. But honestly, what Gyges says is the far more important point about all of it.

  24. Reading the headline I thought there might be at least one good point about Romney but the story shows otherwise.

  25. I have doubts about the whole OBL story.

    1. He said he didn’t do 911 and there are plenty of homegrown suspects given the stand down of the military and the destruction of evidence.
    2. The man was on dialysis for years. The CIA station chief met with him before 911 when he was mid-east hospital for dialysis treatment. Could he really have lived so long?
    3. Burial at sea is a Muslim tradition when so many Muslims live in land locked countries?
    4. I find it strange that so many of the team involved in the raid were killed in a helicopter crash shortly after.

    I long for Jimmy Carter, a man who preferred diplomacy with words rather than bombs.

  26. Yeah, Obama’s a big, tough fucker; just like boy Bush was a big tough fucker. Yeah. Go America!

    Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Where have I heard that? Must have been some wimp.

    Oh, I forgot, Obama’s going to save us from Romney, so Obama’s guys — who happen to be pretty much the same as Romney’s guys — can can continue the great theft of America. Whatever it takes to win I guess.
    l

  27. Gyges:

    I did not suggest this was about bashing Obama… the issue is it a legit campaign issue. Romney/Republicans are trying to use it in their own way as an issue, and obviously they want to diminish anything in the plus column for Obama. Is it a plus or not; do voters consider it a plus; is it legit to suggest – based on past statements – that Romney might have made a different decision; do people think it was a good decision; does it inform us about Obama as a leader and Romney as we decide how we cast our votes; Romney says if Obama is reelected iran will get the bomb but not if he gets elected – is that fair; do the facts support that…. i could go on but you get the idea.

    regarding JT, nothing i said attacked her for her position on “killing” or that she was in some way hypocritical. I happen to think its okay to bring people to justice; she apparently does not. i accept her being a pacifist, but i don’t know that is what she is.

    i realize there are some who believe 911 was a government plot; the earth is 10,000 years old; and christianity is gods one true religion, or is it judaism, or islam, hindu, or you name it. Seriously, the point is none of us can ultimately be sure of anything. And since none of us know first hand the facts for sure (any more then most everything in our life) it is certainly in the realm of possibility that Bin Laden was a nice old man that never did a thing. I’m satisfied by the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt an all the evidence available to me as a layman, the sun is at the center of our solar system; 911 was not a government plot; bin laden was the mastermind.

    as far as i’m concerned jt can believe whatever she wants, though, given her comments I have to wonder how she can be sure she’s not a figment of my imagination.

  28. “I like the squirrel story. It beats picking on President Obama for fighting the war dogs with fire.” TalkinDog

    President Obmaa has not fought the war dogs with fire. He has lain down with them and gotten up with their plague-infested fleas.

  29. I read something recently about Dick Cheney demanding an apology from President Obama for criticizing Cheney’s killer-presidency policies before adopting them and making them his own. Possibly the only time in Cheney’s despicable life that he said something defensible.

  30. 1zbz1,

    JT is Jonathan Turley. The person whose blog this is and in reply to whose post you said, “Yeah, so while Republicans were pushing isolation prior to WW2 and FDR was doing his best to prepare for war and helping the British we should not point that out.

    Or what about the fact Romney and the republicans have been attacking Obama on everything he has done in foreign policy – and proven wrong in each case – we shouldn’t point that out either?

    So every problem is Obama’s fault and every thing right is off limits?”

    Which with seems to be implying that JT is criticizing President Obama for something that he wouldn’t criticize Republicans for. If I misread that, I apologize.

    The thing is, this post isn’t about how to beat the Republicans, or how awful the Democrats are, or any other bit of party politics. That’s what you and others bringing into it, this post is about if it’s right to celebrate the death of a human and use it to drum up political support.

    The proper response to “You’re soft on Terrorism” isn’t “look at the people the troops have killed,” it’s “look how few terrorist attacks there have been during my administration.”

  31. Gyges… in the context of some of the the posts i thought you were referring to jill…. my mistake.

    as to my original comment i do believe – and I find this issue with jt and many others on this site – is a disconnect between the world we all would like, and the world we have – a disconnect between the real world and the idealized abstract (and even a disconnect between comments and facts). As my old architecture professor in England said to me a few centuries ago about one of my diatribes, “Jeremiah speaks from the comfort of his rolls”.

    its not that we don’t talk about issues to help people think about them, but if we don’t set the conversation at least a little bit in reality with solutions grounded in that reality rather then a “wouldn’t it be nice” point of view it diminishes the effort to bring about change. in the end, many of these issues are more complicated then we would like and less simple then we think.

    i think the post was rather simplistic for a complicated issue, even for a pacifist.

  32. “A noun, a verb, and ‘9/11.” Said dismissively of former New York Mayor (and Republican presidential candidate), Rudy Giuliani — by Democratic Senator Joe Biden.

    “Osama bin Laden! Osama bin Laden! Osama bin Laden!” Said dismissively of President (and Democratic presidential candidate) Barack Obama — by me.

    Given that the last two American presidents — and especially the American military/intelligence establishment — have little but national humiliation and bankruptcy to show for eleven years of profligate butchery in the Middle East, it might seem churlish of me to begrudge them their trophy Muslim corpse. I mean, when something that pathetic passes for the true measure of American “greatness,” a country has to take what it can get. And America will get either Barack Romney or Willard “Mitt” Obama — Tweedledumb or Tweedledumber, without even a “contrariwise” between them. .

    When General Tommy Franks pompously declared, “We don’t do body counts,” he of course meant that America does little else. And whether the body-count boast comes out of Obama’s mouth or Romney’s, it won’t signify one thing of value to the world. Just two killer capons crowing at sundown.

  33. THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM

    by

    Emmanuel Goldstein (a.k.a., Osama bin Laden)

    Chapter III: War is Peace

    “What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist. The splitting of the intelligence which the Party requires of its members, and which is more easily achieved in an atmosphere of war, is now almost universal, but the higher up the ranks one goes, the more marked it becomes. It is precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of the enemy are strongest. In his capacity as an administrator, it is often necessary for a member of the Inner Party to know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and he may often be aware that the entire war is spurious and is either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by the technique of doublethink. Meanwhile no Inner Party member wavers for an instant in his mystical belief that the war is real, and that it is bound to end victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world.” — George Orwell, 1984

    Ouch.

  34. “It’s true that by explicitly bringing Romney into the ad, the Obama campaign veers from the subtle to the unnecessarily heavy-handed. Yes, Romney said the things Obama says he said in the ad, like “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

    Here, however, is the issue. Since at least 1968, Democrats have traditionally been more circumspect than their Republican foes in presidential politics. The lesson of the Clinton years and of Obama’s win of both the nomination and the general election in 2008 is that Democrats need to be as tough as JFK was (tough was a favorite Kennedy term). Is the bin Laden ad fair to Romney? No, not really. But politics is not for the faint of heart.

    I take what President Clinton says in the ad seriously: “Look, he knew what would happen,” Clinton says of Obama. “Suppose the Navy SEALs had gone in there and it hadn’t been bin Laden? Suppose they had been captured or killed? The downside would have been horrible. But he reasoned, ‘I cannot in good conscience do nothing.’ He took the harder, more honorable path and the one that produced, in my opinion, the more honorable and best result.”

    Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/30/why-obama-owns-bin-laden/?iid=op-main-lede?xid%3Dgonewsedit&google_editors_picks=true#ixzz1taKVaMRj

  35. “… they are eager to drag the body of Bin Laden behind the presidential limo to every possible campaign stop.”

    ” … there is now regret in the White House that they decided to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.” — Jonathan Turley

    Well done, Professor. As George Orwell wrote in Politics and the English Language:

    “A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves.”

    Again, Professor: very good use of evocative metaphors to assist us readers in grasping the meaning of your article. Even if you hadn’t included the excellent graphic picture of the savage proudly holding up his enemy’s severed head, I think we would still have gotten the message.

  36. MM: i’ll suppose you purposely left out the full quote from JT because it underscores his use of rhetorical and metaphorical conjecture to shape and mislead the argument… seems Obama is not the only one who holds up severed heads in an argument to prove a point.:

    “[I suppose] there is now regret in the White House that they decide to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.

  37. The RepubliCons needed Bin Laden, the bogeyman, in order to justify going to wars. They invaded the wrong I (as in eyeRaq) country and probably did not want to kill Osama Bin Laden because he was usefull out there. Our pals the Pakistanis knew where he was, so did the Afghanis. So, probably did Bush’Cheney. The Dems cant very well drag bin Ladens body through the street because they threw it from a plane. Perhaps what the Dems need to do is merely make fun of Donald Trump like our comedian did on tv the other night. If Mitt (as in My) Romeny a.k/a Willard (as in Willard Hotel) Romney choses some military hypster as a running mate then they can promote the Mittsters demand for 100,000 more troops, bigger navy, bigger air force. War is our future with the Mitt or the Willard or whatever he is. He was conceived at the Willard you know. We dogs know these things. Subtract 9 months from his date of birth (oh, we need his Birth Certificate) and then check the register at the Willard Hotel in DC. So, he is named after a hotel and the nickname (means My in Swedish) comes from his insurance industry supporters and the Koch Brothers. So, everything that Jonathon Turley said is true and so is everything this dog says.

  38. Mike Spendell said: “When you contend with savage murderers who will kill nations for greed and destroy their own country for a few dollars more, you would have to be self destructive not to use the tools at hand. The Bush Crime Family has damned near destroyed this country in their lusts for power and wealth and yet many give no quarter to the man that inherited the mess. Is success always about “what have you done for me lately”?”

    ======================

    I’m just wondering…. how does it feel to be completely upside down and just bass ackwards wrong about something? Here we have obama that is literally destroying America as we speak, and it will probably take a strong Republican two terms to BEGIN to fix what obama has screwed up, and you’re still crying about how you think President Bush messed things up???

    I’m also trying to wrap my brain about the leftwinger’s love affair with Osama Bin Laden? Could someone explain that to me?

  39. “Democrats need to be as tough as JFK was (tough was a favorite Kennedy term).” — swarthmore mom

    Yes. I can well remember the “tough” Kennedy team that gave us the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the doomed descent into bloody quagmire in Southeast Asia. I spent six years in the Navy and a year and a half of my life in the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam, 1970-72) all because of “tough” American presidents like Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Scratch “tough” and substitute “browbeaten” and you will find yourself far nearer the truth of things.

  40. “I’m just wondering…. how does it feel to be completely upside down and just bass ackwards wrong about something?” — Barney Collier

    I would think that you’d know the feeling better than anyone.

    As I recall, former President Deputy Dubya Bush first vowed to get Osama in Laden “Dead or Alive.” He did neither, and then tried to brush off failing at his own adolescent challenge by claiming that he just didn’t care any more. Personally, I never cared much about Osama bin Laden since neither of America’s right wing parties will ever hold Saudi Arabia accountable for funding and directing Al Quada as a covert pillar of their foreign policy. But it took a truly incompetent bunch of Republicans to elevate bin Laden to mythic status while simultaneously buggering America for their Saudi Arabian business partners. .

    But do not despair. Four more years of a strong Republican like President Obama and another eight years of a strong Republican like You-Know-Her and you could even see a balanced budget, permanently depressed economy, and enough dead foreigners to satisfy the right-wing Democrats — although never enough to satisfy the further-right-wing Republicans.

    Thanks to corporate shills like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and with Dennis Kucinich gerrymandered out of his congressional district, America doesn’t have enough deserving “leftists” to field a baseball team.

    But, hey, have you heard that President Obama did what Deputy Dubya Bush couldn’t? I know that doesn’t sound like much, but using Republicans to set the standards doesn’t leave a country with much to crow about.

  41. Whatever our several points of view, I think we should all refrain from taking the government’s word for what it did or did not do with Osama bin Laden’s corpse. None of us have seen this corpse, so there exists no reason to suppose that our government did anything other than fly a few helicopters into Pakistan and then return minus one of the helicopters. Reports from out of the White House contradict each other as to what actually did transpire and so I see no reason to believe anything until such time as publicly verifiable evidence becomes available. Believing government lies only encourages governments to lie more. Demanding the truth and jeering with contempt at the lack of it would probably produce more truth and fewer liars.

  42. I agree that President Obama has not cleaned up the unmitigated disaster left behind by “The Mayberry Machiavellis,” Sheriff Dick Cheney and Deputy Dubya Bush. This does not, however, mean that President Obama caused the Cheney/Bush disaster. Nor does it mean that another dose of the Cheney/Bush disaster would do anything other than deepen and prolong the disaster. America has simply found itself under the “leadership” of outright Republican thieves and browbeaten Democratic security guards called in to look helplessly at the open and empty vaults.

    Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, has nothing to do with this economic disaster and, in any event, Saudi Arabia has a practically endless supply of replacements for him. So does America want to trust what remains of its future to more ravenous thieves or hapless, confused security guards?

    Somebody invent another Osama bin Laden — quickly.

  43. The lies and continuing theater are just incredible! Since it’s been documented by various credible people, bin Laden has been dead since the early 2000’s. How does Obama take credit for killing the dead guy? Oh yeah, he must continue his hypotics on his loyal mesmermized subjects – especially as a deflection from his bogus birth cetificate and the approaching “election”. How gullible does Dear Leader think we are?

  44. Jill,

    “I do not understand what it is about killing that is supposed to make any president a great man. I think our citizens need to take a look into why we want a guy who brags about killing as a ‘leader.'”

    I don’t understand the collective silence about the fact that we have been bombing one of the poorest countries in the world for eleven years either.

    The greed of wealth and power is currently unrestrained as the war profiteers sustain their vision.

    1zb1,

    “[I]n the real world its okay to take satisfaction that a really really bad guy who killed tens of thousands on purpose and would have killed YOU in a second if he had the chance is dead. i can assure you, those who lost loved ones on 911 have no doubts justice was done. bringing people to justice for crimes is not the worst thing we do.”

    Ignoring your paranoia and lack of understanding of the effects of our country’s foreign policy, your last sentence, “bringing people to justice for crimes is not the worst thing we do,” suggests Jill’s perspective is valid.

  45. “… seems Obama is not the only one who holds up severed heads in an argument to prove a point.” — 1zb1

    “The Tu Quoque Fallacy consists in rejecting a criticism of one’s argument or actions by accusing one’s critic or others of thinking and acting in a similar way.” T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning

    I do not remember claiming that “only” President Obama” resorts to brandishing trophy corpses, or trophy severed heads, or trophy heads-on-a-pike, or trophy bodies-impaled-on-poles, or whatever grisly trophy metaphor one might wish to use. I can certainly remember the Bush administration’s yearlong orgy of exploiting the captured Saddam Hussein for propaganda purposes — everything from showing him drugged and n his underwear, to a Soviet-style show trial in a cage, to his eventual lynching by a Shiite mob. But as the quote from Professor Damer indicates, my argument against exploiting trophy cadavers or body parts does not succeed or fail because other persons do the same thing. I object to the deed, no matter who does it. And I think Professor Turley simply pointed out and objected to what President Obama has done in once again aping some of the worst “public relations”l tendencies of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

    My quotes from George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” deal not with logical argumentation but vivid imagery as a means of communicating the visceral emotional impact of killing people and seeking to profit from their mute and broken bodies. Like Orwell, I do not like and will not willingly condone language that seeks to “sanitize” death and destruction so as to make both more palatable to the sheltered folks far away from the bloody mayhem. “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it,” said General William T. Sherman. If I could only make words reek with the stench of disemboweled corpses, I would bottle the cruel, nauseous odor and spray it in the face of the first babbling baboon I came upon agitating gleefully for the killing of some unnamed person on the other side of the globe.

    I do not think better of President Obama than I think of his predecessor for doing the same objectionable thing. Nor do I think worse of President Bush than I think of his successor for doing the same objectionable thing. I would think worse of them both if they had only left something worse for me to think of them.

  46. Back during my first year of college in 1965-66, an economics professor taught us the three kinds of lies: namely, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. Several years later in Southeast Asia I got to witness with my own eyes what lies, damned lies, and statistics really look like. I learned to hate this body-count bullshit four decades ago and I hate it every bit as much today. Different President, same body-count bullshit. Hence, something for the last and the current body-count bullshitter-in-chief:

    “Lies, Damned Eyes, and Statistics”

    I cannot speak your name for I despise
    Those noises that a caring mind decries

    You’ve told as many contradicted lies
    As any tiny man of greater size

    Your Congressmen begrudge the French their fries
    And think a cheap word truth and honor buys

    They dine like fatted porkers in their sties
    With “freedom” grease upon their shirts and ties

    They stain their fingers purple to reprise
    The vote in lands your army occupies

    About the world you’d rather fantasize
    Than entertain a fact when it replies

    You try to talk just like the other guys
    And pose with flags and moms and apple pies

    Yet through transparent glass the truth descries
    The tawdry, tacky trade your crony plies

    To nurse your pride the Pentagon supplies
    Another squad of young, naive GIs

    So once again today a soldier dies
    The blood that soaks his clothes congeals and dries

    Above his fallen form his spirit flies
    At home his mother sits alone and cries

    Amid the rubble piles of bodies rise
    Yet still your moving mouth the truth denies

    So this I say to you, sir: Damn Your Eyes!

    Michael Murry, The Misfortune Teller, Copyright 2006

  47. Osama Bin Laden Raid Wasn’t Based On CIA Torture Interrogations, Senators Say

    by Dan Froomkin

    Posted: 04/30/2012 5:54 pm Updated: 05/ 1/2012 2:26 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/osama-bin-laden-raid-torture_n_1465820.html

    Excerpt:

    “Two senators privy to classified information angrily dispute the claim by a former CIA official that the Bush administration’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective and helped locate Osama bin Laden.

    Jose Rodriguez, former head of CIA clandestine services, told the Washington Post last week that he is “certain, beyond any doubt” that the techniques “approved at the highest levels of the U.S. government … shielded the people of the United States from harm and led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.”

    But senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said in a statement on Monday they were “deeply troubled” by Rodriguez’s statements that the CIA”s “so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ used many years ago were a central component of our success,” in finding the al Qaeda leader, killed by U.S. commandos in a raid in Pakistan a year ago Tuesday.

    “This view is misguided and misinformed,” the senators wrote.

    Feinstein’s Senate Intelligence Committee has prepared a 500-page report that, according to Reuters, concludes that records from the Bush administration fail to support claims that torture was effective in stopping any terrorist attack.”

  48. Nal, AN,

    Obama better figure out who he’s courting before he asks too many to dance….. Unless you’re Greek…. Most men do not like dancing by themselves……

  49. mm, you obviously missed the point completely but i can see there is no point trying to clarify.

    and btw, i can personally assure you and jill that not everything the government does is a conspiracy. its only half the time. but if it makes you feel better, corporations do it all the time.

  50. “By referring to Mr. Carter, the Romney campaign is trying to tie President Obama to a Democratic president considered by many to be weak on national security issues. But the comparison is somewhat strained: the military raid for which Mr. Carter is best known — the attempted 1980 rescue of hostages from the American Embassy in Tehran — was a failure, while the raid against Bin Laden was a success.

    This is not the first time that the Romney campaign has invoked Mr. Carter’s name. One of Mr. Romney’s advisers, Richard Williamson, wrote last week for Foreign Policy magazine that events including North Korea’s recent test of a long-range missile “may be bringing us to a juncture at which the inexperience and incompetence of a presidency crystallizes in the public mind.”

    “In short, we are approaching a Jimmy Carter moment,” wrote Mr. Williamson, a senior diplomat under several Republican presidents. “In a perilous world, this is not the kind of leadership our country needs.”

    The comparison to Mr. Carter appears to be a response to the White House claim that Mr. Romney would pursue an obsolete, throwback approach to international affairs. And on Tuesday, in an effort to claim an advantage on national security, Mr. Romney will observe Bin Laden’s death by visiting a fire station in Lower Manhattan with former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, an outspoken critic of Mr. Obama’s policies in the Mideast.” New York Times

  51. izb1:

    “Seriously, the point is none of us can ultimately be sure of anything.”

    Yes, actually you can. You have 5 senses which allow you to perceive the world. The other thing you can be sure of is that existence exists. Otherwise you would not exist and you would not perceive existence. The fact that you can see, hear, taste, smell and touch something is evidence of existence of both you and the object of your perception.

    Drop a ball off a building, I am sure it will hit the ground unless it is a big ball full of helium or has a string tied to it shorter than the building. But if the ball is filled with air and the building is on land, the ball will hit the ground when dropped. So there are many things we can be sure of.

    Uncertainty is a fact of life but knowledge mitigates uncertainty. So ultimately we can be sure of anything as long as we keep learning. Everything is available to human understanding.

    “A man may live long, and die at last in ignorance of many truths, which his mind was capable of knowing, and that with certainty.”

    John Locke Essay on Human Understanding (bk. I, ch. II)

  52. Michael Murry:

    “Just two killer capons crowing at sundown.”

    Great line.

    Like teats on a boar hog but a much better use of the English language.

  53. Romney closes gap with Obama, poll shows

    By DONOVAN SLACK |
    4/30/12 5:24 PM EDT

    Mitt Romney has closed the gap with President Barack Obama during the past week and the two are now locked in a dead heat, according to daily tracking by Gallup.

    Romney is now slightly ahead, 47 percent to 46 percent, although they are statistically tied. Last week, Obama had a seven-point lead at 50-43.

    Overall, Gallup has conducted more than 8,000 interviews since April 11, when it began daily tracking of the race. At first Obama was ahead, then Romney pulled into the lead, then Obama, and now Romney again.

    (Also on POLITICO: General-election polls show conflicting leads for Romney, Obama)

    Gallup uses a five-day rolling average in its calculations. But an aggregation of the results over the entire period found Obama and Romney dead-even at 46-46.

    “The conclusion is that the presidential race appears tight, but with some fluidity,” Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport wrote in an analysis released Monday.

  54. As an airline captain at the time of 9/11, I can tell you that I was fillied with joy when Obama made the announcement that Bin Laden had been killled. This contrasted so sharply with his predecessor who could care less about Bin Laden, that I hope that all airline pilots who did not vote for him will hang their heads in shame. Obama went out on a limb during the campaign by saying he would get Bin Laden, and he was criticized by all the other candidates for doing that. So it is rather unseemly for them now to complain or say that they would have also done the same. Any person who says that after having previous opposition to this is an unmitigated liar, cheat and a crook who by their own words have disqualified themselves for the office.

    It is hitting below the belt for Romney to state HE would have done the same since his words at the time were the opposite. Trying to get credit for what others have done is theft and as a Vietnam era vet, I really hate Romney for his draft dodging cowardice to avoid putting his own ass on the line in wartime. He is only the number one chickenhawk now, not fit for commander in chief.

  55. bron: tell me you don’t actually believe your senses and how we process the information is 100% accurate.

    no doubt, when your mechanic tells you the CTPS is out of line you know what he is talking about; or when the doctor points to that little spot among all the other spots you know why its a different spot then the rest of the spots.

    is there a point in going on and on about all the things you don’t know and all the ways your senses give you misinformation or your brain is mistaken in how it processes information, or how many countless ways you depend on what others say to determine what you THINK you know.

  56. gallup has a fairly consistent record of being inaccurate, not that we need them to tell us unless people wake up from their self induced willful ignorance it will be close.

    that there is even one person in this country that would vote for romney/republican/tparty/3rdBushTerm leaves me completely confounded. even i never thought the american people could be that stupid. just goes to show how stupid i am to underestimate the stupidity of the american people.

  57. craven.

    I personally felt the original announcement of Bin Laden’s killing should have been made by a military general officer connected to the operation, thereby minimalizing the political nature of the mission. Now seeing the election campaign use this is reprehensive especially when declaring “…would ‘private-citicen-running-for-office’ have assisinated ‘another person’ too?” Seems put in this light, I guess now killing other people is now a measure of the mettle of a politician these days.

    Certainly the western world is better off with Osama gone but my word have some humanity.

    As for the president’s wrapping himself in the cloak of a hero, I don’t seem to recall ever seeing him volunteering to hit the streets, battle lines, landing zones, or behind enemy circles to serve his fellow citizens. So I don’t respect him essentially saying he has.

  58. izb1:

    you may incorrectly interpret a perception but the sense is correct.

    A spot that a doctor knows about is a lack of knowledge on your part, not a misperception.

    Is there any reason to go on?

  59. Oh one more thing if I may:

    President Bill Clinton: “Obama took ‘the harder and the more honorable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

    How about substituing it to read “Which path would Jesus have taken”

  60. “Monday, April 30, 2012

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney earning 47% of the vote while President Obama picks up support from 45%. Four percent (4%) would vote for a third party candidate, while three percent (3%) are undecided. ”

    SM:

    appears to be neck and neck but this isnt even the first turn.

  61. 1zb1, Whether gallup is accurate or not, I think it will be a close election. Obama has some hurdles to overcome with the new voter id laws put in place by the republicans. Turning out the young is the key, and the id laws play havoc with that plus there is less enthusiasm. Romney has a big lead with white males, and Obama has a huge lead with women and minorities. The fact that the Obama campaign went up with the ad about Romney’s Swiss bank accounts yesterday in some key states shows they are concerned.

  62. Swarthmore mom 1, May 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

    1zb1, Whether gallup is accurate or not, I think it will be a close election. Obama has some hurdles to overcome with the new voter id laws put in place by the republicans. Turning out the young is the key, and the id laws play havoc with that plus there is less enthusiasm. Romney has a big lead with white males, and Obama has a huge lead with women and minorities. The fact that the Obama campaign went up with the ad about Romney’s Swiss bank accounts yesterday in some key states shows they are concerned.
    =====================================
    I think women voters are the majority, so the GOP is doing real good with one minority, white men. The president is doing real well with the majority.

  63. Swarthmore Mom: I read the military’s “after action” report of the total cluster f*ck attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran during Carter’s administration. How they expected special forces to get from the helicopter landing sites in the desert through the streets of Tehran to rescue over 60 (?) men and back to the helicopters is beyond me. Another Bay of Pigs (which BTW was planned by Eisenhower’s team and was presented to the newly inaugurated JFK as a fait accompli). In the attempted rescue case, however, there was the bad luck factor too: helicopters malfunctioning (desert dust? can’t remember). Carter was a Naval Academy graduate and to accuse him of cowardice or reluctance to take military action is unfair. Too many people with little knowledge of the facts and short memories are bloviating now a days.

    If Obama’s assassination attempt had backfired, would we have even heard about it? This Admin is even more opaque than GWB’s. The Abbotabad job was more of a compact black bag job than Carter’s fiasco and easier to hide. A failed attempt probably would have been deep sixed. How many other failed attempts at this sort of thing have happened? How long did they know where he was…. So many questions.

    As to stuffing OBL, why not? Jeremy Bentham had himself stuffed and is still in good shape 200 years later. A trophy for Obama’s oval office, like a deer head. At least people would know for sure it was OBL (after DNA testing). But there’s still the issue of whether he was really the “master mind” …..

    What a choice for us old time liberals. Hold your nose and vote for Obama to prevent Romney and the Koch Brothers from taking over? I guess so, but it will be difficult.

  64. i was certainly agreeing it will likely be a close race – its the likelyhood it will be close that i find to be so troubling.

    bron, if you really believe our senses do not give us mistaken information or the brain processes the information incorrectly perhaps you have never heard or seen a mirage. perhaps you never learned there was a time people thought the sun revolved around the sun or the earth was flat or optical illusions exist…

    but, please, lets not talk of it any more. my senses tell me everything your senses tell you is 100% accurate.

  65. amity, The Koch Bros and the Bush team as anon nurse pointed out with her link. Romney is the candidate of Rove and the Bush family. Some of Bush’s Texas Swift Boaters are involved with Romney’s SUPERPACS.

  66. izb1:

    both are errors. One of judgement and one of knowledge. Although you might be able to call a mirage an error of knowledge as well. Based on a lack of understanding as how light moves through air of different temperatures.

  67. sure bron, whatever you say, your comments are based on a lack of knowledge instead of false inputs from your sensors.

  68. This is simply a campaign mistake. The call to go for bin Laden was easy. Intelligence and SEAL Team 6 did the work. To suggest that any president wouldn’t have went with this is amatuer. The President’s true problem lies with the fact that he has virtually nothing else to claim as progress. His first 4 years have been a disaster by all accounts.

    Jeff Metz
    http://www.mostly-right.com

  69. bron, glad you enjoyed… no hard feelings..

    on the other hand, clearly jm has no sense of humor – or reality.

  70. “how does it feel to be completely upside down and just bass ackwards wrong about something? Here we have obama that is literally destroying America as we speak, and it will probably take a strong Republican two terms to BEGIN to fix what obama has screwed up”

    BC,
    It feels great knowing I’m not that ignorant that I don’t understand the screwing that the Republicans have give our country under the Bushes. Republican leadership has refused to fix anything since that bad actor played at being President. Sadly, people like you appreciate being screwed “bass ackwards”
    and beg for more. I say this not because the Democrats are appreciably better, but because the Republicans, your heroes, have damned near destroyed this country and its people. You conveniently forget who caused the recession and gave millions to the banks before Obama ever took office, but then I don’t think you are capable of handling more than a few simple concepts at once.

  71. SwM,

    Re your link to the Hill piece … it is no exaggeration. The third party money started flowing into Ohio a few months ago and they are after Brown’s seat with a vengeance. We are prepared to fight them but it’s going to be one hell of a battle.

  72. “To suggest that any president wouldn’t have went with this is amatuer”.

    Jeff Metz,
    It’s good to see a comment from someone as objective as yourself. However,
    GW Bush didn’t order this and even said he did’t care about Bin Laden. That could be of course because of his family’s being Saudi serfs. I seem to remember that G.H.W. Bush spent the day of 9/11 watching TV with Bin Laden’s older brother. I also remember that though the perpetrators were almost all Saudi’s, a special plane carrying prominent Saudi’s left the U.S. (on a no-fly day) before anyone could be questioned. This was a rather curious thing to do, but then a serf must protect its master. Now in your case is it that you forget history because of a short attention span, or you ignore it because facts only upset your pre-judgments?

  73. Blouise, The democrats are predicted to lose or go 50- 50 in the Senate. If Obama loses, the republicans will have full control. I got an email from Brown’s campaign and I am going to send a contribution right now. The Koch Bros are attempting to buy back the Senate with help from some Texas billionaires among others. They want even lower tax rates on the very wealthy and the right to pollute without much restriction, and Romney has promised that. Plus, the catholic bishops will get their way on contraception with Romney and a republican Senate. It is amazing that when we formerly talked about the right to chose, we meant abortion. Now the bar has been moved so far back that we are discussing the right to contraception.

  74. “I suppose there is now regret in the White House that they decide to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.” JT——————–
    —————————–
    With both houses with him, he might get Bin Laden approved for a monument on the Mall, a token of all the evil we have vanquished. As it is, Bin Laden is a poster child now for the terror war. Wonder when we get a domestic replacement to poster-up for that part? Any volunteers? ID707
    ———————————
    “I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and to take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it.” Obama
    —————————-
    Of course Big O. has never contradicted or changed his mind, even backpedaled. Both of them are playing the military’s game ID707
    —————————–
    “The use of the killing of Bin Laden as a campaign trophy is as unfair to Romney, unseemly of Obama, and unbecoming to the presidency. The President’s remarks this afternoon should be condemned by every citizen regardless of party affiliation.” JT———————————-

    Where do I climb on the righteous bandwagon. Obama’s was certainly the smallest flag I’ve seen waven, so far. That it was full of holes shows his campaign manager is not so smart, and neither is he.

    But how irrelevant can you be, if you expect seemliness in a man fighting for office against the most evil corporotacracy in this world.
    ID707

    Written before viewing the comments above.

  75. 1zb1,

    “as to my original comment i do believe – and I find this issue with jt and many others on this site – is a disconnect between the world we all would like, and the world we have – a disconnect between the real world and the idealized abstract (and even a disconnect between comments and facts).”

    So putting pressure on elected officials to not use certain rhetoric is not recognizing the real world? How so? I’d say just the opposite, it’s a recognition of the connection between speech patterns and actions, with a bit of recognition of the fact that American politicians are much more likely to respond to a grass roots movement then they are to lead it.

    Let’s not forget the criticism here isn’t “Osama shouldn’t have been shot.” the criticism here is “President Obama shouldn’t be using a specific person’s death as a campaign issue.”

  76. “recognition of the fact that American politicians are much more likely to respond to a grass roots movement then they are to lead it” (Gyges)

    Excellent insight

  77. SwM,

    Since they purposely have not named an opponent to Brown, the best recourse is to run against the “outside” money from groups like the Chamber. The idea of men and women debating each other and seeking votes has been completely skewed by Citizens United. No one is named as a candidate and the campaign against the incumbent is well underway when, at the last minute, the opponent steps in. It’s democracy as a joke and we owe it all to the Supreme Court.

  78. gee, Gyges, lets not talk about wyatt earp coming into town and killing the bad guys when he runs for sheriff. and lets not talk about words from the Romney like “if Obama gets elected Iran gets the bomb but not if he gets elected”. No of course not, the electorit is really smart and they get we should just talk about the issues.

    please will you and jt put out your list of what we can and can not talk about. obviousely, according to you and jt we should not talk about abortion, healthcare, education, environment, taxs either because the fact is people are going to die based on the choice politicians make on those issues.

    this is just another one of those made up phoney debates created by the right for politics and promoted (exploited) by jt with his comments even to the point of using his conjecture in an intellectually dishonest way.

  79. 1zb1. Don’t you know that democrats are just supposed to stand around and get attacked for being weak like Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter? lol

  80. 1zb1, It has been 32 years since Carter was beaten by Reagan, and the republicans are still using him to portray the democrats as weak on defense.

  81. Well said Swarthmore. The Right of George W. Bush’s day is now the Left or middle of the Democratic Party. The new Right is so far to the Right, that the 1950’s are going to look downright enlightened if the Republicans get control of both houses. I do believe that the Senate will stay Democratic,and that Obama will defeat Romney. However, I am still in the air as to the results in the House.

  82. “gee, Gyges, lets not talk about wyatt earp coming into town and killing the bad guys when he runs for sheriff. and lets not talk about words from the Romney like “if Obama gets elected Iran gets the bomb but not if he gets elected”. No of course not, the electorit is really smart and they get we should just talk about the issues.”

    Setting aside just how historically inaccurate that comparison is(The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was hardly just ‘Wyatt Earp comes in and kills the bad guys. It’s a fascinating example of different groups of people supporting those who they perceive to be acting for their interests or even just against the interests of their enemies. And the ability of people to overlooking and excuse moral failings in allies There’s also a good bit of the winner writing history thrown in. So I guess it is a good analogy, just not in the way you think):

    There’s a difference between “Since I was sheriff there’s been a sharp decline in cattle thefts, so re-elect me,” and “I was involved in the death of 6 men so re-elect me.”

    As you just demonstrated, it’s entirely possible to redirect a conversation (I mean, you went from “This doesn’t recognize reality” to “Obama’s like a sheriff” completely ignoring my request for clarification). If you can do it, in a direct dialogue surely a skilled orator like our President can, especially when he has so many OTHER things to brag about, and isn’t talking directly to the people whose attacks he’s addressing. He’s more than able to prove his foriegn policy is effective without hanging the heads of his foes over the fire place.

    In fact this is a GREAT opportunity to highlight the differences between his foreign policy philosophy and that of the Republicans. Can you imagine just how feeble they’d look if he said “they have one tool, killing. While I recognize that sometimes human lives must be taken or lost in the protecting of the innocent, I also realize that that’s a last resort. The dramatic decline in innocent lives lost to terrorist attacks during my administration speaks for itself as to the effectiveness of my tactics.”

    So no, he doesn’t have to ignore the attacks, but he doesn’t have to answer them with bloody militaristic appeals to mankind’s worse nature either.

  83. Beyond the fact that our corporate controlled media sets up the narrative and that money helps to buy public opinion, the messy fact of our electoral system is that you have to get enough votes to win the electoral college. As the link below shows the public approved of the Bin Laden killing. The public also believes generally in the concept of the America President being “strong”. While “strong” is an adjective that doesn’t lend itself to precise definition in political terms, it has been a defining meme of American politics since the
    founding of our country.

    Many principled people somehow believe that it is “facts” and “ideals” that should drive the electorate, but time and again we have seen “facts” and “ideals” fall short of the mark of electoral persuasiveness. Like it or not (and I for one don’t like it), since the inception of the “Cold War” there has been a bi-partisan consensus among Americans that approves of our country acting as an imperial power. This consensus is an unreasonable one, yet it will not be
    broken by the use of reason, since it has attained the status of conventional wisdom. To ask Obama to go against the consensus, is to ask him to consign himself to political defeat, in a service of little value to those who have suffered through more than 32 years of Right Wing attacks on anyone not of the 1%.

    Give the above, the only real issues of this coming election are the domestic ones dealing with the economy, health care, jobs, women’s rights and the encroachment of religious tyranny. I am quite pained and angered by the death and destruction rained on foreign peoples by the predation of America foreign policy. At present we who decry it can do little more than decry it, since for the most part the American people believe in dubious foreign adventure, when stirred into false fears of imminent disaster. The murder of innocent Iraqi’s and Afghan’s is awful, yet the murder of the lives of many at home via draconian social policies, racism and lack of health care coverage deserves just as much attention. Whoever wins this year will not be able to make much difference against the predation of the MI Complex/Oil Wealth who will continue to control the narrative. There will be a distinct difference though between the total dismantling of the social safety net, lowered health care protections, laws crafted to advance religious fundamentalism and aimed at the further oppression of women and people of color. Call me a cold blooded pragmatist, but I believe we need to protect the home-front, since my empathy for those suffering here is as great as for those suffering abroad from American foreign/military policy. We need to change America’s imperial foreign entanglements, but more importantly we need to first deal with the deterioration at home. If we don’t, then even more military service will become a lone, viable career option for Americans and our country will come to resemble the home-land of the Hessians.

    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/bin-ladens-killing-helps-presidents-poll-numbers/

  84. Gyges,

    “So no, he doesn’t have to ignore the attacks, but he doesn’t have to answer them with bloody militaristic appeals to mankind’s worse nature either.”

    Remember that politics and Washington are the arts and Hollywood for ugly and/or talentless people.

    “If it bleeds, it leads” and “sex sells” still apply.

    That being said, Obama’s actions in this matter are as tasteless as they are expected.

  85. Mike S.,

    In re your comments of 11:03 and 11:13, I laughed and laughed until I remembered that what you were saying was true.

  86. “Remember that politics and Washington are the arts and Hollywood for ugly and/or talentless people.”

    Then how do you explain Ronald Re…. Nevermind.

  87. Swarthmore mom 1, May 1, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Dredd, There are many hurdles with these new voter id laws.
    ===========================================
    Yep, the old Supreme Five trick of the 2000 election will not get it anymore.

    Plan B, screw over as many democratic voters as possible, without the help of the Supreme Five.

  88. “Remember that politics and Washington are the arts and Hollywood for ugly and/or talentless people.”

    “Then how do you explain Ronald Re…. Nevermind.”

    Gene and Gyges,

    Politicians are “sold” today like you would sell beer or soap. Since the Goldwater debacle in 1964 the plutocratic elite of this country has taken the lessons learned from their corporate minions and employed the art of advertising and “hidden persuasion” (Google Vance Packard) to control and dominate the terms of debate in this country. It has turned politics into show biz and of course the acme was reached when they elected a failed actor, in the early onset of Alzheimer’s, to the nations highest office. Then too remember their early experiment with Senator George Murphy and the later one with Congressman Sony Bono.

    To balance the equation, politicians are also “bought” regularly with both money and luxuries. How seductive it is for a relatively unattractive man to take on the seductive mantle of power, to the point that they will do anything to avoid a return to diminished status.

    As you know we have little difference in viewpoint as to the harm done to this country by those in the elite and/or working with them, on both sides of the party lines. Nevertheless, from my perspective, this is the reality of the hand that has been unconscionably dealt to us, so we must play it within the constriction of the revised rules. This is how I can see the evils that exist and yet be willing to be pragmatic as to solutions to them. It’s all about buying time until we can turn it all around, that is if we still have any time left.

    We then come to perspective and despite my many reservations I choose to remain a optimist. Two years ago I was about to literally die and now this year I was able to run after my 3 year old granddaughter in danger, running for the first time in 20 years. Personally, I choose to believe that all can remain well for me and my family. Politically I choose also to believe that we can beat these bastards in the end. If achieving that means using their own tools against them, I’m willing to accept that this end justifies the means.

  89. This “means” is, as SwM mentioned up thread, targeted at independents in 7 states. These are the independents who commonly vote Republican when it comes to “strong on defense” issues. He’s wooing the macho vote. It’ll work.

  90. “If achieving that means using their own tools against them, I’m willing to accept that this end justifies the means.”

    I’m with you there, Mike. A job is easier when you have the right tools and as with any tool, they are rarely intrinsically evil, but rather the good or bad of them is in the application and the intent of the user. As to whether or not we’ll win in the end? I have no doubt as the arc of history moves towards civil and human rights, but my question still remains as “at what costs” and “when”. Although I suppose you could technically call me an optimist, I’m the kind of optimist who thinks really bad things will have to come to pass before the 99% rise up and claim the world from 1%. Apathy is the problem, but to paraphrase Tommy Smothers, nobody seems to care. To which I’ll add the caveat “yet”. Which also raises the question of time. Will the victory of civil and human rights over the tyranny of the oligarchs come before permanent damage is done to either the planet and/or society? We shall see.

  91. Mike and Blouise,

    This is an area where reasonable people can disagree. Plenty of compromises have been made for the greater good, that ended up working for the greater good. Plenty haven’t. It’s up to everyone to decide what they can and can’t compromise.

    When using their own rhetorical tools against them, it gets a little hard to tell who’s “us” and who’s “them.” Especially since rhetoric so often shapes action. If we get used to talking about foriegn policy and security in terms of military victories, then sooner or later we’re going to get used to thnking about it in terms of military victories. Once that happens, well then we get the same stupid foriegn policy we’ve had since sometime post WWII.

    You can’t change your strategy when you only think in the terms that led you to that strategy in the first place. Take this discussion. The basic assumption underlying Obama’s strategy is that there are more people that buy into the “We kill Bad Guys because we’re the good guys!” than are turned off by it. If you don’t challenge that assumption, you’re never going to change the discussion.

    Again reasonable people can disagree, but once you accept the premise “we have to act this way or loose,” you admit that this particular behacior isn’t going to be changed by you. You’re conceeding victory on the issue to the status quo.

  92. Gene,

    Depends on what you’re persauding people to do.

    I agree rhetoric in general can be used for good or bad. My point was that what tools you’re used to using shapes how you approach a problem, and how you’re used to talking about a problem can limit the number and type of solutions you can find for it.

  93. JT said, “I SUPPOSE there is now regret in the White House… ” and “I SUPPOSE that explanation will now trigger a contest ”

    The emphasis is mine on “SUPPOSE”.

    I SUPPOSE now they are mandating i buy health insurance they are going to mandate I buy brocolli and take away all miy rights.

    See a pattern there among liberterians?

    In any event I am glad to see most people seem to understand this is a phoney rightwing/libertarien made up controversy. The notion of calling Romney being out of bounds or even tasteless when its based on what Romney actually said AND did (and not done) – especially given Romney’s his own attacks (ie iran nukes), is about the silliest debat of all the sillyness that permeates this site.

    The way I see it Obama is my attorney and just like an attorney is JT said, “I SUPPOSE there is now regret in the White House… ” and “I SUPPOSE that explanation will now trigger a contest ”

    The emphasis is mine on “SUPPOSE”.

    I SUPPOSE now they are mandating i buy health insurance they are going to mandate I buy broccoli and take all my rights all my rights away.

    See a pattern there among libertarians?

    In any event I am glad to see most people seem to understand this is a phony rightwing/libertarien made up controversy. The notion of calling Obama being out of bounds or even tasteless when its based on what Romney actually said AND did (and not done) – especially given Romney’s his own attacks (ie iran nukes), is about the silliest debate of all the silliness that permeates this site.

    The way I see it Obama is my attorney and just like an attorney is supposed to do he is going to the mat for his client. I suppose jt doesn’t believe in representing his clients to the same degree.

    i suppose I’m also reminded here a bit of about one of my favorite all time movies, “The Guns of Navarone”. (shows how old I am) You may recall, Corporal Miller, the explosives expert who avoids responsibility at all cost (played by David Niven) is whining his way about everything throughout the movie. Finally, as they are now about to face the final stage of their mission, Mallory, the leader of the group played by Gregory Peck has had it up to here with Miller and says,

    “Mallory: You think you’ve been getting away with it all this time, standing by. Well, son… your by standing days are over! You’re in it now, up to your neck! They told me that you’re a genius with explosives. Start proving it!
    [gesturing with his pistol]

    Mallory: You got me in the mood to use this thing, and by God, if you don’t think of something, I’ll use it on you! I mean it.

    The more I listen to the rightwing/libertarians the more I see Miller. The more I listen to Romney the more I think he is running for Whiner-In-Chief.

    An don’t make the mistake of thinking my words come from some notion of American Cowboy Mentality (well maybe a little acm).

    It comes from the simple place of being on the Titanic. Republicans (with admittedly more then a little help from Democrats and the stupidity of the American People) have run the ship into an iceberg and its going down. They jumped ship when they thought it was lost and now want to take it back when they see Obama managed to keep it afloat. And what do they do is claim its lower in the water then when they left it.

    So, JT and some of the rest of you, you just keep “supposing”, while the rest of us worry about keeping the ship afloat. And don’t worry, I will defend with my life your right to whine about it any way you want.

    Oh, and Gyges, I never said anything about the Ok Corral you did, but your description was close enough to how I did mean it (though I have to confess I did not know you were also a mind reader). In any event, apparently Earp, by his own testimony at the trial claimed the events leading up to the OK were indeed related to improving his chances for election.

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/earp/wearptestimony.html

    “I had an ambition to be Sheriff of this County at the next election, and I thought it would be a great help to me with the people and businessmen if I could capture the men who killed Philpot.”

    Seems to me if you are going to be a smartass you need to do a better job at it. Kind of makes me think of watching Romney (notice how fast he talks and those little tiny rapid steps he takes). He reminds me of the kid in school who thinks he knows everything wildly waving his hand to be called by the teacher and then gets it all wrong time after time.

    Maybe if people would stick to the subject more and spend less time trying to prove how smart they are not we would have a better discussion.

  94. Gyges,

    “My point was that what tools you’re used to using shapes how you approach a problem, and how you’re used to talking about a problem can limit the number and type of solutions you can find for it.”

    True enough that tools limit solutions, however, the second part of that seems reasonable enough but is counter-intuitively wrong. As tools, language and communication have a true flexibility to them that only the computer approaches. How can one come to novel solutions without the the ability to describe and communicate the idea? I suggest what you see is the tendency to fall into habit. Would Michelangelo be considered a genius sculptor if his habit was to sculpt David every time he came to a raw piece of marble? No. His genius was in figuring out new ways to use old tools to different ends. Novation and tool use, while related, are discrete. Intellectual laziness and creativity are limited by the nature of the tools, but the nature of language makes it nearly limitless as it is confined only by the audience’s ability to comprehend.

  95. CORRECTION: “The notion of calling Romney being out of bounds or even tasteless when its based on what Romney actually said”…. OF COURSE THAT SHOULD READ: “The notion of calling OBAMA being out of bounds….

  96. Just read the CinC is in, or on his way to, Afghanistan. Wonder if he’s packed the “Mission Accomplished” banner.

    Wonder what the 11 SS agents from Columbia would do for fun in Kabul?

  97. thank you js for making a good point (even if, as Gyges would say, not as you intended). it underscores how people think: you take the credit – you take the blame. Seems reasonable enough unless its about Obama and you are a romney/republican/tparty/liberterian, in which case Obama gets all the blame but never any credit and romney/republican/tparty/liberterians get all the credit but never any blame.

  98. 1zb1,

    I don’t speak for JT, but I REALLY suggest you start reading some of his posts about other subjects. Calling him a right-winger is absurd. You’re getting awfully worked up about what you imagine this one post means without the context surrounding it.

    So since you think we should stop trying to prove how smart we are (I like how you included that AFTER you posted about how smart you were) and get back to the topic at hand: I’ll ask you again: “So putting pressure on elected officials to not use certain rhetoric is not recognizing the real world? How so?”

    Please answer this time. I’m honestly curious as to your thought process. Also, remember this isn’t telling Obama not to defend his foreign policy, this is about asking Obama not to defend it by trumpeting the death of a human being.

    Gene,

    I agree, “the tendency to fall into habit ” is exactly what I’m referring to. Thus the phrases “used to” and “can” in “…how you’re used to talking about a problem can limit…”

  99. Gyges, I believe JT (and many – but not all – readers here) tends toward the libertarian (emphasis on “tends” but not necesserily actual) by my reading of many of his comments (though not exhaustive). Often that goes under the title of “civil libertarians”. I did not say he was rightwing but i did broadly link rightwing and libertarians together based on voting habits. That is not to say JT or all libertarians vote rightwing or that some don’t vote democratic or others don’t vote ‘libertarian” or some don’t change from one to the other. I admit to painting in broad generalization. Some might say he is very liberal and progressive but one can go so far in one direct on some issues that the consequences if not always the actions leads you around the circle.

    But really it is not for me to impose my notion of where he is politically, when i think it is easy for him to clearly define it himself if he cares (kind of like some of the inane argument that have gone on here about what the founders intended – if they wanted to make themselves clear for future generations they could have and JT can do the same now if he chooses) I suspect he might choose none of those terms. And btw, there is absolutely nothing wrong with criticizing people and policies. Unlike Regan this is not a “never speak ill of another republican” idea.

    Believe me I get that defending our basic rights often means defending those people, words, ideas, actions, and things we may find most offensive personally and as a general rule when in doubt more rights rather then less. I get that principles are important.

    But I also know when life and death and reality are at stake, just like they say there are no atheists in foxholes (something in fact not true) the abstraction of law and principles without regard to the reality is being a slave to other peoples ideas as much as any chain. Our words have consequences – jt’s more then the rest of us.

    The problem with your question, “So putting pressure on elected officials to not use certain rhetoric is not recognizing the real world? How so?”

    …is I don’t have a problem with the rhetoric. I don’t have a problem with saying “I got the guy, you didn’t… you said you would not go into Pakistan… i said i would… you said your a big tough guy about iran and i’m not but whose really full of crap.”

    And just to underscore some of the simple minded ways of looking at this, consider the message that commercial sent to Iran and how it might help bring a peaceful solution to that problem as in, “Hey douche bags, if you think I won’t drop a bomb on you guess again.”

    But of course as far as your concerned, so what if Iran has a nuke, don’t they have a right to nukes as much as we do.

    and now its you and jt’s turn to give me the list of what i (or obama0 are allowed to talk about.

  100. I agree Gyges.
    Mike S. was correct that we may prefer our politics to be “nicer”, but that ship has sailed long ago. Now, you have to fight fire with fire.

  101. Once again Mr. Turley selectively shows umbrage only when convenient and safe to his audience. This is version of iokiyaao (It’s OK If You’re Against Obama).

    Does JT exert any hefty criticisms of Romney? JT is not objective, and this blog has become like The American Conservative web-site minus the leading questions.

  102. 1zb1,

    You know, I think we’re having (at least) two different conversations. If you’re not going to bother to remember what you said, I’m not going to bother talking to you.

    “as to my original comment i do believe – and I find this issue with jt and many others on this site – is a disconnect between the world we all would like, and the world we have – a disconnect between the real world and the idealized abstract (and even a disconnect between comments and facts).”

    I was curious as to what you thought that disconnect was. I guess you were more interested in ranting about what you think my positions are than clarifying. Well, that’s one way to have a conversation I guess, just not if you want to me to continue.

    Have fun.

  103. Gyges i guess what i thought was answering your question was not as far as you are concerned. How about this, you give me yours and jt’s list of what i (and Obama) are allowed to talk about and I’ll give you another shot at your question after you do (its important I get your list first since I would not want to use any words or ideas that are not on your list)

  104. BettyKath,
    I like your suspicion. If UBL (not proper arabic with O) was on dialysis, ie no kidney transplant courtesy CIA, then it was not him in that house. You can’t have them at home, and certainly not in that house.
    As for the convenient disappearance of the Seal team members, bingo again.
    I have contended that UBL was a CIA resource since he was given the choice by the Royal family: Your life or your families, ie all Ladens. So, he did what he was told to do. Create an enemy. But Bush would have his war, and he got it. UBL was the poster terrorist he needed.

    But Obama needed cred after the financial collapse after Wall Street. So the OBL death legend was created. Is it surprising Obama uses it. But it’s use is carefully gauge on when and where and if it is needed, as others have pointed out.

  105. OT OT

    Michael Murry,

    “with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world.” — George Orwell, 1984″

    A brilliant surmise, as it did not yet exist. Orwell is a giant. Thanks.

    Try a taste of reality, how only 17 years after the Bolshevik October Revolution the people had changed, and their perceptions were out of touch with everything. Change was not possible now that the New Era had begun, they felt. People stopped talking to each other. Even parents dared not in front of their children.

    Let Nadezdha Mandelstam, wife of Osip, the poet; tell the story.
    “Hope against Hope”. Fear, she writes, is only possible as long as hope exists. When hope departs, fear also follows it. What is left is not worth living.

  106. 1zb1:

    Gyges threatens to take his marbles and go home a good deal of the time. In fact, I think he has said the same exact thing to me that he has to you on numerous occasions. I also thought I had answered his questions.

    Now it crosses political philosophies and generations. I had thought it was my political philosophy that prevented my communication with him or the fact that I am older than he is. But you are of similar political philosophy to Gyges and you are older than me.

    Maybe Gyges needs to reevaluate his marbles so he is not in danger of losing them?

  107. 1zb,

    For me to miss a point, you would first have to make one.

    As Albert Einstein said: “Keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

    For example, you say:

    i can personally assure you and jill that not everything the government does is a conspiracy …”

    No you can’t. You do not know “everything” that the government does, so you cannot possibly assure anyone of anything regarding its activities, motives, methods, etc. Furthermore, since you don’t know the full extent of what the government does, you can not claim to know what half of that unknown quantity does. The same goes for any other percentage of government operations about which you claim authoritative knowledge. In fact, you have not established precisely how much you really do know of what the government does, so you have no way of demonstrating even that you know what little you claim you know about government. As Senator and career bureaucrat Daniel Patric Moynihan used to put it: “Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but no one has a right to his own facts.”

    As well, I do not remember calling the government a “conspiracy,” although if two or more people conspire in secret to defraud and otherwise mislead the public, then that term could very well apply. For my part, I thought I called our government a pack of professional pathological liars. I. F. Stone said simply” “Governments lie,” and spent his entire journalistic career proving it. Personally, I eschew the tepid euphemism “spin” and prefer my own terms for professional prevarication: Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification. In my youth, the systematic official military and political lying got so bad that the entire society started coming apart at the seams over it. So don’t even try to get started with the “conspiracy theory” misnomers. Not only does our government tell us the same baldfaced lies it told us forty years ago, it can’t even tell them as well, and so has resorted to mumbling that it can “neither confirm nor deny” anything it says one day and claims it didn’t say the next. What utter bullshit.

    And once again — after repeatedly explaining to you the TuQuoQue (i.e., “you do it too”) fallacy — the fact that private corporations may lie just like the public government does (and vice versa) does not disprove any criticism of lying. “Misery loves company,” yes, but I prefer that the official and corporate liars commiserate behind bars.

  108. mm, your laugh chip is burned out… time for a replacement. might want to check the reality chip while they are working under the hood. i understand the tparty has a special for folks on medicare who want to the government to stay out of their healthcare.

  109. From The Rude Pundit: Mitt Romney on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox “news,” September 12, 2007: “Well, thank heavens Barack Obama was not president over the last year, because, had Barack Obama been president over the last year, Osama bin Laden would have been declaring victory in Iraq.”

  110. Bron,

    Or maybe you need to learn what “non-responsive” means. In the incident you are referring to, you never did address your self-contradiction other than to say “maybe I’m contradicting myself or maybe I’m just not making myself clear” or words to that effect which was a non-answer worthy of a politician.

    Whether or not this current misunderstanding between Gyges and 1zb1 rises to that level remains to be seen.

    Also it is my understanding that a foo foo head is indeed similar to a doo doo butt, but regional usage varies.

    ***********

    1zb1,

    If you wish to conflate civil libertarian with Libertarian, you might be in for a surprise because that broad brush you admit to using is larger than you think.

  111. GH, Well here’s the problem, and I’m sure you can appreciate it, trying to meaningfully define people by political labels is near impossible, and i think that is extra difficult with people as smart as jt. what might be “liberterian” in one context might be considered “civil liberterian”, democrat, republican, and some isms i’d rather not mention in another context. even when people self identify – as in how they register or vote – is not always helpful. For example “Regan Democrat” seems like an oxymoron. In most situations people might be, for example 60% of the time one way on certain issue; 20% another way on other issues, and so on down the line.

    isn’t it a bit like religion, whose a real christian and whose not; one sect of islam verse another; what makes for a real jew?. Not conservative enough, not liberal enough; too liberal; or too conservative, and so on.

    so if we go way back to the founders they had the feds and anti-feds, a battle still being fought, and i might say pretty mindlessly argued to no end over at some other threads.

    I think its up to jt to say what he is and what that means in as unambiguous terms as he can. who does he think best represents his views; who is he pulling the lever on when he walks in the box? if he has made that clear somewhere by all means point me in that direction.

    but in the broad strokes that i am otherwise forced to deal in; it FEELS like “liberterian” is the strongest thread.

  112. 1zb1,

    Since turn about it fair play, let me answer your question before I call it quits. As far as I’m concerned you and Obama can say whatever you want, and I can criticize that however I want. There’s a world of difference between “shouldn’t” and “is forbidden”

    I don’t think either of us is going to be able to communicate effectively with the other at this point. So I’m still calling it a day.

  113. idealist707,

    I excerpted the Orwell quote from 1984 primarily because it illustrated how tribal party morale encourages and requires the schizophrenia embodied in the Newspeak terms blackwhite,duckspeak, crimestop and doublethink>. I especially liked Orwell’s point that “It is precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of the enemy are strongest.” I immediately thought of this truism when I saw the released photo of President Obama and his advisers sitting around all warm and comfy in the White House watching a live video feed of 25 Navy Seals murdering an unarmed man in front of his family half a world away. “Heroism,” as only American chickenhawks can conceive of it.

    Upon reading Professor Turley’s article and noting some of the reactions to it, I saw three basic lines of objection emerge:

    (1) The Professor had used some vivid metaphors which offended the delicate sensibilities of those who like war at a distance but not up close and personal enough to get any real sight or smell of it.

    (2) Since one cannot honestly deny that President Obama seeks to make political hay out of Osama bin Laden’s claimed-but-not-proven demise, his partisan defenders resort to the “others do it too” fallacy as a dialectical dodge. Certainly, Deputy Dubya Bush did all of that political milking of the maimed — and more besides. But such comparisons only make President Obama look like a rank acolyte attempting to emulate his midget master.

    (3) In any event and however distasteful, since the Republican party has historically made industrial scale political profit from labeling Democrats “weak,” then Democrats have every right to do the same to them. So the race-to-the-bottom has hit bottom, just where the Republicans like things. But as President Harry Truman said: “If you give the American people a choice between a Republican and someone who looks and talks like a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time.” Brilliant 11-dimensional strategy, Democrats. Look and speak as much like Republicans as you can. That will surely give the American people a reason to choose a fake Republican instead of a real one.

    Nonetheless, all of these objections beg the question of why the United States of America, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has chosen the define the “heroism” and “greatness” of its leaders in terms of furtive assassinations, draconian repression of dissent at home, and war against the world’s weakest — only to predictably lose whatever of value the country once possessed

  114. 1zb1,

    “but in the broad strokes that i am otherwise forced to deal in; it FEELS like “liberterian” is the strongest thread.”

    Which presents no problems if you mean the small “L” sense of libertarian. The problem arises if you mean the capital “L” partisan term Libertarian. As to JT’s personal leanings? Other than civil libertarian and not being a staunch originalist in his Constitutional analysis (i.e. he clearly believes the Constitution is a living document that exists in the light of precedent)? I really can’t say other than he has posted articles on here saying in effect that because of Obama’s actions in both refusing to prosecute domestic war criminals and in unconstitutionally expanding executive authority (specifically I think of the statements around the “Assassination Without Due Process” issue) that he felt Obama was proving to be a disaster for civil libertarians.

    But could he make his own stances clearer? Yes, he could. But ultimately that is his decision. Just as how one votes is a private matter and a discussion left to the individual to decide how much to reveal publicly is appropriate, so are the details of one’s political principles. However, to assume what they are in absence of evidence is nothing more than than speculation.

  115. Watching the unedifying spectacle of President Obama and Mitt Romney publicly comparing their adolescent little erections over which one of them would or would not have ordered a platoon of goons to murder an unarmed man, I keep going back to what military historian Martin Van Creveld wrote about a “superpower” waging “war” against relatively powerless adversaries:

    “… In private life, an adult who keeps beating down on a five year old – even such a one as originally attacked him with a knife – will be perceived as committing a crime; therefore he will lose the support of bystanders and end up by being arrested, tried and convicted. In international life, an armed force that keeps beating down on a weaker opponent will be seen as committing a series of crimes; therefore it will end up by losing the support of its allies, its own people, and its own troops. Depending on the quality of the forces – whether they are draftees or professionals, the effectiveness of the propaganda machine, the nature of the political process, and so on – things may happen quickly or take a long time to mature. However, the outcome is always the same. He (or she) who does not understand this does not understand anything about war; or, indeed, human nature.

    “In other words, he who fights against the weak – and the rag-tag Iraqi [and Afghan] militias are very weak indeed – and loses, loses. He who fights against the weak and wins also loses. To kill an opponent who is much weaker than yourself is unnecessary and therefore cruel; to let that opponent kill you is unnecessary and therefore foolish. As Vietnam and countless other cases prove, no armed force however rich, however powerful, however, advanced, and however well motivated is immune to this dilemma. The end result is always disintegration and defeat.”

    President Obama can lose by “winning” in the Republican gutter or lose by losing in it; but neither outcome will make a cowardly “superpower” look anything but pathetic in its belligerent narcissism and puerile posturing. This coming November, America will get what it deserves because it has demanded nothing better.

  116. gh, small “l”. it is beyond dispute that who jt votes for is a personal matter. some people make their choice known, others do not, but it is beyond reproach the right to cast a secret vote. i could not agree more with your last paragraph.

    there is a proviso, however, in trying to divine jt’s leanings and in the absence of a clear statement from him we must rely on his writings and other comments. the strength of his attacks against Obama and a seeming lack of quite the same intensity on the other side (i’m speaking about the present) does give aid to one side versus the other.

    lets face it, when Powell – a republican – came out in support of Obama it made a big difference for many people. I think if jt were to do the same that would also influence a certain group of people, just as the positions and tones now does. he understands that and obviously he feels keeping a certain amount of appearance of “independence” on paper – but not in fact – serves his interests – agenda, if you will.

    I would refer back to cpl miller and the guns of navarone on this point. and that is a general complain i have with so called liberterians (with a small l)

  117. Apropos of Professor Turley’s dead-on imagery, I see herewhere President Obama has hauled bin Laden’s metaphorical corpse onto Ari Force One and smuggled it into Afghanistan where he can display it before our marooned troops while lecturing them on “justice” by assassination.

    I’ve heard of desperate American politicians “waving the bloody shirt” and “hiding behind the troops,” but “waving the missing corpse in front of the troops” has to rank as an all-time low.

    And something seems discordant, to say the least, about the self-styled “leader of the free world” having to sneak unseen into and out of the countries he has freed because the newly free (after 11 years) people might kill him if they knew beforehand of his arrival. Superpower cowards inspire such respect and confidence — or so I have heard them tell me.

  118. mm: as a minor point, the weak you refer to has managed to cost the US quite a few lives not to mention many many trillions of dollars in direct and indirect costs that we are yet to fully comprehend. a simple reality in our age is there are no small enemies only large targets and we are the biggest. (the technical term is asymetric warfare).

    i suspect anyone who thinks balancing personal liberty and freedom against that reality is easy or cut and dry is probably a liberterian. (and does not understands that reality)

  119. President Obama has already had Osama Bin Laden murdered once.
    President Obama can not have Osama Bin Laden murdered again.
    President Romney can not have Osama Bin Laden murdered again, either.

    Long live Osama Bin Laden! It seems to me that President Obama and Mitt Romney will pretty much make sure of that.

  120. ” … a simple reality in our age is there are no small enemies only large targets and we are the biggest (the technical term is asymetric warfare).” — 1zb1

    Normally, I would dismiss this facile, glib vacuity as nothing but a talking-point sound byte of the type produced upon short-order by Republican party belief-tanks (like think thanks, only without the doubt that causes real thinking). But in this instance I’ll deconstruct it so as to make its inherent absurdities more explicit.

    First: if not even small enemies exist then the large target has nothing to fear. But in fact, the largest, self-identified target in the world has consumed itself in fear of the minuscule, if not invisible. As Gore Vidal has truthfully put it: “Americans are among the most easily frightened people on earth.” No doubt about it.

    Second: if the largest self-identified target in the world insists upon shooting itself in its own face, what worse damage would the non-existent little enemies have left to inflict upon it?

    Third: Why would any country make a large target of itself by making enemies where none previously existed? National Masochism?

    Fourth: If the largest target in the world breaks its own toes kicking the doorstop of a neighbor’s doghouse, then the large target should not blame either the doorstep or the dog for the pain and doctor bills.

    Fifth: I graduated from a year’s training at the Defense Language Institute and Counter Insurgency School before spending a year-and-a-half in Vietnam. Our textbooks said: “Win their hearts and minds.” Our instructors translated: “Grab ’em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow.” The Vietnamese we actually met in their own country seemed to have their hearts and minds set on us leaving and our attempts to grab them by their balls usually resulted in us grabbing ourselves by ours. America has an abysmal record of failing at asymmetric warfare, precisely because America refuses to accept and learn from its many and continuing defeats at a game it does not have the wisdom not to play in the first place. As the country once learned (briefly, before forgetting again), when it comes to asymmetrical warfare against little countries:

    “We lost the day we started and we win the day we stop.”

    Or, as W. C. Fields once said: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No sense being a damn fool about it.”

    Only a damn fool would involve America in asymmetrical warfare, because the little enemies that don’t exist before we attack them will never play fair against the largest target in the world when it bombs, invades, and occupies them for decades. And only a world-class fool like America would make so many enemies while making itself a target so large that no enemy in the world could miss it.

    I could go on, but that should about cover it for now.

  121. mm, and you actually think that just made sense?

    even though we are of the same age your understanding of asymmetric warfare is obviously a bit dated. today it means that anyone can strike anywhere; it means a handful of people can cause trillions of dollars in impacts and thousands of lives; it means the battle zones are not always fought in far away countries but potentially anywhere.

    that it is difficult to deal with and fight – or there is poor success rate – does not change that it exists or that just because you stop fighting it others do the same.

    because people are afraid, (or easy to fear) does not mean they don’t have real reason to be afraid. but of course 911 never happened so there is no reason to be afraid, except of the government which was actually behind it (according to you)

    now, in your disconnect from reality we should just go into complete isolation (is that ron paul i hear knocking at the door). if we get out of all these countries with people that hate us it was all just go away. we should just stop dealing with the rest of the world, no trade no nothing and all will be well?

    i’ll let you ponder that concept for a little bit as you turn off your computer and trade in your car for a made in china cycle.

    like i said, reality. if you want to actually figure out how to deal with problems its a good place to start. ps. you need to learn something about sentence structure – even when its in abbreviated form.

  122. After the second world war, we made a big point of setting up the Nuremberg Trials for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. The Nazi’s had done far more and of a far more henious nature than Bin Laden, but rather than kill them in secret with commando teams and then dump them into the Atlantic, we went to great lengths to provide them with what they had denied the Jews and the rest of Europe; the right to a fair trial.

    This is what should have been done with Bin Laden. The fact that it wasn’t and even more the fact that we barely even mention it, speaks more eloquently about the decline of our civilization than almost any other single topic.

  123. yup, we were so civilized back then more civilians died from our firebombing tokyo then the atomic bomb on hiroshima.

  124. yup, we were so civilized back then more civilians died from our firebombing tokyo then the atomic bomb on hiroshima.

    So that incisive logic means what, no trial needed? We also as a society considered torture abhorrent back then even though we secretly used it on rare occasions. So? Does that make it perfectly ok for NPR and 90 percent of the media today to claim that torture is legal because the president says it is? Do those acts in any way alter the mind numbing implications that more than 50% or our population today are in favor of torture? Does our barbarity in firebombing Tokyo or the fact that we interred thousands of Japanese Americans in camps in anyway contradict the decline of our civilization today as witnessed by the fact that we rarely if ever even consider such things as a “fair trial” when we talk about Bin Laden?

  125. no, it just means it wasn’t a good example. minor point: based on the accounts we have (which may obviousely be self serving from a legal standpoint) he made capture not possible.

  126. But what I said above does not detract from the Nuremberg Trials nor does it take away from the pull of civilization and fair play that characterized much of our society (both here and in Europe) as seen by the effort of the Western alliance to treat the barbarity of the Nazi’s with judicial fairness.

    Where would you find the Nuremberg Trials today, 1Zb1? Would you find them in the way we are dealing with the banking foreclosure fiasco? In the way we haven’t prosecuted so much as a single high level player in the banks even though we know they are guilty of downright illegal behavior? Would you find such civilization in our complete failure to bring Bush or Cheney or any of their gang to justice for their crimes against humanity? Or would you find it in the way we completely ignore the crimes Obama is committing against the constitution and the spirit of democracy itself with his warrantless death squads and presidential authority to trash all jurisprudence?

    Would you find something similar to the Nuremberg Trials in the way we are privatizing health care and setting up social security and Medicare for the same fate? Does raw greed and the profit motive seem to you to be the “civilized” way to care for the health of our citizens?

    Yes, you can always find our darker side, particularly in times of war as in WWII. BTW, we are NOT AT WAR today irrespective of our propaganda. But where would you choose to shine a light on any aspect of our great civilization today 1Zb1? Show me something, anything damn it, even close to the extraordinary sense of fairness and civilization it took to deal with the Nazi machine of extermination with the trials of a court where they could challenge their accusers and defend themselves.

  127. no, it just means it wasn’t a good example. minor point: based on the accounts we have (which may obviousely be self serving from a legal standpoint) he made capture not possible.

    That’s nonsense and you know it.

  128. It absolutely begs credulity that Obama couldn’t have had Bin Laden captured alive just as Bush did with Saddam Hussein.

    It’s the weakest excuse I have ever heard for such an argument. You are seriously positing that Obama, with all the technology available to him today, couldn’t have captured Bin Laden alive? Give me a break.

    Even the reports we have suggest that he was summarily executed without necessity, but to suggest there was no other way is simply pathetic. And I guess dumping him in the Atlantic was also unavoidable? Kind of like the tree that jumps out at you when you are driving thus causing an unavoidable accident?

  129. so you have now gone from the nuremberg trials to healthcare, social security, bush, cheny, not capturing bin laden so he gets a fair trial, and everybody is a liar.

    a little story; i am named after my cousin. he was a crewman on a b-17. he flew 24 missions. 2 weeks before the end of the war in europe he did a mission to drebin. his plane was in the low flight. there was smoke over the target from the bombs of the flight in front of him so the commander ordered them to go around. 3 times he ordered them to go around because they couldn’t see the target.

    now, i’m thinking about the kid – they were all kids – who commanded that flight and decided to go around 3 times. i’m thinking he wanted to go home so badly he could taste it. if he was at all like my cousin he probably already wrote home to his family telling them the war was almost over and he’d be homes soon. and i’ll bet he was also thinking about the several hundred guys in those planes he was leading and how each time he ordered them to go around they were cursing him, and he was probably cursing himself, as well..

    but then there was the smoke. the bombardier couldn’t see the target. 3 times he ordered them to go around; two weeks before the end of the war and going home.

    on the third pass they dropped their bombs. as they left the target my cousins plane was hit . one man was thrown clear – it was not my cousin – and the other ten died. another plane was also lost. another 10 men.

    i’m think about the kid in command. he gave the order 3 times because he could not see the target, he’s lived with that order ever since.

    you know something, bb, you may think you know what’s nonsense and think you know what those guys did, but you don’t know jack..

  130. Mike Spindell:

    Ryan’s budget is increasing spending by 3% whereas Obama’s is increasing spending by 4.5%. There is no cutting in the Ryan budget.

  131. i always wonder why i waste my time, but its nice to see you have such a clear understanding of the presumption of innocence except when it doesn’t fit your tiny little model of the world. given your view i gather you are the last honest person on earth who comprehends the vast injustice and inequalities of our existence. your profound insight into the sense and nonsense in the hearts of others and your willingness to judge others with such certainty based on facts you can not possibly know first hand is admirable.

    my hats off to you for your divine wisdom, insight and all knowing eye. I commend your desire for a public trial of mr. bin laden and your private notion of injustice for all others..

  132. MM, ” President Obama can lose by “winning” in the Republican gutter or lose by losing in it; but neither outcome will make a cowardly “superpower” look anything but pathetic in its belligerent narcissism and puerile posturing. This coming November, America will get what it deserves because it has demanded nothing better.”

    Sometimes it seems that we of the more melancholy bent may be simply the “town downers”, in seeing little but negatives on the American political scene (or Europe for that matter).

    Undaunted optimists notwithstanding, there really isn’t much to encourage. These pissy bastards, all of them, are loathesome.

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