by Damozel | I admit it. I am afraid I thought the infamous cover
was hilarious. It didn’t occur to me till the condemnation started
rolling in that it could be detrimental to Obama in the wrong hands. I
can’t imagine that anyone with a sense of context (or humor) could
possibly have taken it as anything but a knock at those who buy into
attempts to demonize Obama.
But I understand the concern of those such
as Jesse Taylor at Pandagon
who perfectly well understand the intent while still feeling concerned
that the cover might just give legs to the rumors. And if you don’t
believe that there is a segment of the public prepared to swear that
the cover is an absolutely literal and accurate accurate depiction of
the secret life of the Obamas , see here, here, and here. Finally, there's a good piece today by SilentPatriot at C&L about why some people are so upset about the cover that may pretty much undercut what I've written here. You decide.
It’s good news, isn’t it, he pointedly notes, that our troops’
sacrifices have got the Iraqis to a point when their government might
actually be about ready to take off the training wheels and ride off
without us holding the handlebars? (NYT)
And whether they are ready are not — see this BBC article
clarifying the quote on which Obama relied — isn’t it about as clear as
it could possibly be that we can’t go on babysitting them indefinitely,
or even very much longer, without severe strain to major muscle
The endorsement could hardly have been stronger. On Monday, John McCain’s campaign released a statement
signed by 300 economists who “enthusiastically support” his “Jobs for
America” economic plan, providing a heavyweight testimonial to the
presumptive Republican nominee’s “broad and powerful economic agenda.”
by Damozel | Among many bloggers who remain critical of Obama and the Obama campaign, one of those I find most powerful and persuasive is Anglachel, who writes both eloquently and intelligently about the divide in the Hillary campaign.
Here are a couple of quotes from Anglachel's posts, though it's only fair to say that they aren't reducible down to extracts; they are intricately thought through and unified --- the blogging equivalent of origami --- and pulling out a piece here and there isn't really illustrative.
by Damozel | Here's a trend that should give some comfort to Democrats who are still recovering, or who haven't yet recovered, from the painful battle for the presidential nomination.
Democrats are running strong Senate campaigns in states such as
Mississippi, Alaska and North Carolina that Republicans have long taken
The outlook for the GOP is so grim that party leaders have readily
conceded there is no chance they can regain control of the Senate in
2008, even though Democrats' current majority is slim, 51-49.
"If you have an R in front of your name, you better run scared," said
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), chairman of the National Republican
Senatorial Committee, who says the party will do well if it holds its
losses to three or four seats. (HuffPost)
Syndicated columnist Bob Novak, writing about the surprising number of
conservatives who are backing Democrat Barack Obama rather than
Republican John McCain for the presidency, captured their widespread
sentiment when he quoted one "Obamacon" with impeccable GOP
credentials: "The Republican Party is a dead rotting carcass with a few
decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version
of 'Weekend at Bernie,' handcuffed to a corpse." These Obama supporters
hold no illusions about Obama's liberalism, but they are so angry at
the GOP, Novak writes, that they seek a "therapeutic electoral
bloodbath."... [I]n a two-party system, when one party screws up
royally, the voters reward the other party.'
(OC Register; emphasis added)
It's actually quite affirming that some conservatives have decided to
rebel against what the Bush administration and its abettors and
enablers and are prepared, in the best traditions of democracy, to
'throw the rascals out.'
by Teh Nutroots | Ho ha ha. Ha ha hee. He's going to turn seawater into crude oil right before your very eyes as well. Right. Via Mike Allen at The Politico:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday
that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by
curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs,
including Social Security, his advisers told Politico.
“The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in
the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic
extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were
financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit
reduction.” (Emphasis added)
Victory, eh? And cutting 'entitlements'. It won't work.
by Damozel | John Cole is baffled by the intransigence of Dems, including many recent Obama supporters, who have bashed Obama's every move since the nomination.
The continued intransigence of left-wing bloggers and liberal
Democratic interest groups that make up part of the Democratic voting
block remains completely and totally mystifying to me. The utter
unwillingness to allow Obama any latitude in framing his positions on
issues so that they are more palatable to independent voters, demanding
that he adhere to strict and rigid positions with no room for movement
or nuance, appears to me to be an unwitting sabotage of a candidate who
has always been a center-left pragmatist. Any slight deviation from
orthodoxy, real or perceived...is met with derision, assaults on his integrity, and charges of
by Damozel | The Times of London rather gleefully comments on Obama's perceived 'reversals,' on which I have just this moment commented at some length. First, they sum up the positions which have so disappointed the party's progressive wing, and which are bound to disgust a large number of conservative Brits:
Last month he dropped his opposition to a Bill before Congress that would
give telecoms companies immunity from prosecution for carrying out illegal
wiretaps on potential terrorist suspects.
He told a cheering crowd of Israel's supporters of his fervent commitment to
the security of the Jewish state and added, for good measure, that an
“undivided” Jerusalem should be the nation's capital. He said that he likes
free trade after all, and that his primary campaign pledge to dismantle the
North American Free Trade Agreement was a case of “overheated rhetoric”.
by Damozel | On this July 4, Barack Obama is drawing a lot of criticism from some who were previously anxious to support him.
A New York Times editorial calls out Obama for his numerous failures to support the hopes of liberals that they finally had a champion worthy of the glory of their cause. They aren't pleased with his most recent incarnation of the swing voter's Democrat. And it's not just the so-called 'far left' that is reeling with shock. In fact, even very moderate Democrats --- i.e., those who support a liberal agenda without necessarily wishing to see it implemented without some concession to the feelings of the opposition --- are shocked; shocked, I tell you!--- to learn too late what Obama is really about. Once again, I can only shrug and say, 'Weren't you listening?'
In fact, I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of saying, 'We told you so' to his champions on the far left. Another time, maybe they'll read the fine print.
by Damozel | The evangelicals and other Christian Conservatives have decided that McCain is, after all, God's candidate. That is to say, while many of them feel that McCain was most definitely not God's first choice, God most definitely prefers him to Barack Obama.
So even though they -- meaning the lead mouthpieces of the Christian Right -- said they would never, ever do it, Senator McBack 'n Fill carefully repudiated his every principled stand during the primaries. Besides: he's incontrovertibly not Obama. They've evidently decided on these grounds that they have to support him for not being Obama, whether they like it or not. I get the impression that they don't much, even now, but are trying to make the best of him. That's so sweet.
by Damozel | This is a crucial post from Crooks and Liars for disillusioned Dems (like me) and for anyone, anywhere who has considered voting for McCain (unlike me). It's extracted from Steve Benen's June 19 post at The Carpetbagger Report, which I linked at the time. But let's just review:
[B]ack in 1999, McCain was walking a tightrope by calling himself
pro-life on a personal level while at the same time assuring pro-choice
voters for pragmatic reasons that “in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade.”
Candidates have traditionally moved toward the center after winning
their primaries to attract more undecided voters. Except that that
isn’t happening with John McCain, who has if anything gotten crazier in
recent months....How does this happen? How has wingnuttery so poisoned our elections
that both candidates are striving to show the rest of the country just
how stupid and crazy they are? Don’t we need, to coin a phrase, a choice not an echo?.
by Damozel | Huh. Wouldn't it be better and more persuasive to focus on Obama's strengths, i.e., the fact he's right about Iraq and McCain is wrong? I'm starting to think I would be an ace campaign strategist, if the problem with the following isn't apparent to Obama's advisers when it is so apparent to me. (Barack: Call me!)
Wes Clark is arguing that McCain's military credentials don't necessarily qualify him to be Commander-in-Chief. I like Gen. Clark, but I think this was tactically a mistake. According to Josh Kraushaar, this is what he said:
Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be
president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the
by Damozel | Paul Krugman made the same point months ago as Greenwald does in this piece arguing that Obama's run rightward to meet McCain the so-called 'center' is in fact not the winning strategy his advisers must think. Why is there an assumption that Americans want some sort of compromise between Bush and the principles expressed by the Democratic candidates?
With the Republicans still mechanically spouting policies consistent with Bush-era neoconservatism, what's needed to achieve balance again isn't compromise action, but corrective action. What most Democrats I know want is a different choice. Sadly, Obama lately seems intent on ensuring that there is no distinction between his policies and McCain's:
Posted by Damozel | Don't get me wrong. In my opinion --- and as a Clinton supporter, I followed the exchanges extremely closely while they were happening--- Bill Clinton has every right to be angry about the way Hillary was treated by the Obama campaign. I don't think his anger is productive, mind you; and I think he is undermining Hillary's chances. But if Hillary values her political career, she needs to give Bill a time out.
To accuse someone of being a racist -- a vile thing for a person to be --- is, by definition, to accuse them of vileness. It is a grave insult. It seems to be these allegations that are fueling Bill Clinton's outrage and wounded feelings. Most of us would feel just the same.
By Damozel | At The Moderate Voice, Joe Gandelman speculates that the wounds might be too profound to heal. I personally doubt it. A month in political time is equal to a year in real time. And as the subsequent post shows, many Democrats were moved by the event and the speeches. I can't see the sour feeling of some of the insiders having much of an effect on the average voter.
Marc Ambinder likewise wonders whether unhappy Clinton donors can be brought into the circle and made to join in the unity boogie. See above.