If you have "no place to go," come here!

Does anyone else have a problem with this?

Well, let's just put the constitution in the corner and show it that we mean business:
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives that "the White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission."
h/t Glenn Greenwald:


Submitted by lambert on

2011 is not 2008; the best alternative then is no alternative now. Policies, not personalities.

UPDATE I never thought there was any difference between any of the candidates on the empire; but now we know there really is no difference, if we didn't know it before. (Modulo Kucinich, but what's that worth?)

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

nation-, and world-wide!! (and why I've decided to run again, I know it appears to be "tilting at windmills" but I'm seeing, hearing, feeling, some incredible energy from the real grassroots, and we do need some federal candidates, why not me?)

Submitted by jawbone on

Obama. For Drum, regardless of how he feels about a topic, in this instance the Libyan "kinetic military" adventure, if he were in a room with Obama and had the least doubt about his own conclusion and Obama told him otherwise, he would trust Obama completely.

"So what should I think about [the war in Libya]? If it had been my call, I wouldn't have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted."

--Kevin Drum, Friday, in Mother Jones

Really, Kevin?


Good grief!

Glenn Greenwald has written about this attitude, and, as usual, gets to the core of the matter. Citizens need to retain good judgement and not place blind faith in any human leader. Blind faith is the stuff of religious devotion and belief.

I'm posting this comment here because my decision making back in the '08 primary was that Hillary Clinton voiced better ideas about health CARE reform than Obama did, about Social Security, about the economic meltdown, about a workable plan to assist with mortgages, about meeting the needs of regular people, etc., and I thought they would probably do very similar things concerning our then current wars.

I firmly believed that a blind devotion to a cult of Obama had overtaken many progressives to the point they had lost their objectivity and ability to question anything Obama said and that might affect how they reacted to what he actually did in office. I beleived at the time that the left, as well as the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) and even Congressional Dems, would hold Hillary accountable for her words and her actions. I felt strongly they would not hold Obama accountable.

I think history is showing that neither the left nor the Congressional Dems (in any meaningful numbers) hold Obama accountable and barely question what he does and is talking about doing. Some of the ostensible left, such as Ezra Klein on economic matters and now Kevin Drum on war policy, seem to find it almost impossible to question Obama.

Would the left have given Hillary this much latitude and cover? About civil liberties? Abortion and choice? War making? I sincerely doubt it would have, but I could be wrong. However, at the time, I felt it would be better for our nation that Hillary get the Democratic nomination (as that was tantamount to winning in '08) in that she would have been held to her word and her actions would have been carefully monitored and criticized as necessary. And on domestic issues she would have been far better.

But, hey, we go into penury with the government we have not the government we wanted....

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

this is a bad sign, a very bad sign

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

but RL interfered, so thank you for putting it as a quick hit. And, yes, it's appalling. Appalling about Clinton. Appalling about Obama. Appalling.

My first thought when I read Glenn was that Obama was like Bush in that everybody who serves him sees their reputation sink, but then I realized it wasn't so much serving Bush or Obama as serving the Empire. You can't serve the Empire and have principles (beyond believing that the Empire should be served).

I'm not, btw, claiming Hillary Clinton was ever some sort of peacenik or is even a liberal. As with lambert, I never had any illusions about where she stood on the Empire. Just that I think this position - that the Congress can't restrain the President at all - is clearly one that she would've disagreed with a few years ago, as Obama himself did and so that this represents a divergence from what she would've claimed were her principles a few years ago. And that's one of the many corrosive effects of Empire.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

a newsblog's summary of something they were told by random politicians as if Clinton (or anyone, for that matter), actually made the statement.

It would not, of course, surprise me in the least if this is the FP tack the White House is actually taking. (I rather thought this was already apparent, but I may have been reasoning ahead of the evidence -- on Libya).

Here is the full para. from TPM, that bastion of accuracy and objectivity:

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.

Clinton was responding to a question from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) about the administration's response to any effort by Congress to exercise its war powers, according to a senior Republican lawmaker who attended the briefing.

Hell, it wouldn't surprise me to find out Clinton said those exact words*, but just based on the tremendous amount of misquotes, mischaracterizations and outright lies promulgated about just about everything Clinton ever says, I reflexively look for the original source on most sentiments attributed to her. And this one doesn't pass the test.

* actually it would surprise me a little, since the Obama admin's usual mode of expressing itself runs to word-fogginess giving the impression that they're absolutely committed to not doing whatever it is they actually are doing. So such a clear statement of intent would be a bit of a surprise.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

The only exact quotes are from those in attendance willing to talk, some on, some off the record. It is telling that the narratives are in sync, whether from Rs or Ds. If you want validation of statements like "there's no need for a declaration of war", but we "will welcome the support of Congress" (I bet especially when they want $$ for bombs, eh?) see these U-tubes of her presser 3/19:
This one has great "word salad", a "tell" of the official Obama policy:

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Here's the clarification of what Clinton said, which is about as clear as mud. Not a good sign that she wouldn't commit to the administration following the law (my bet is that they won't, they think they're above the law just as the Bushies did), but she didn't come right out and say they'd violate it or it didn't apply to them.

Submitted by jawbone on

stonewalling is bipartisan. Our Dem appintee did just as well as Republican appointees have done. From the clip in BDBlue's comment.

Frustrated the hell out of Rep. Sherman! Frustrated me to listen to the word salad spilling out.

John Mearcheimer's book, Why Leaders Lie, does point out that leaders don't lie all that often, but they tend to lie more to their own people than to other leaders and elites. The better to bamboozle their public and their potential voters.

And, the lies of leaders are often condoned...IF they succeed. Or enough time passes and the press allows their lies to be forgotten or lost down memory hole.

I have to read this book!

Submitted by jawbone on

that the Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of the War Powers Act or any of its various sections.

IIRC, the Dems were reluctant to challenge Bush/Cheney use or misuse of the law as they feared the Supreme Five would side with the Republican administration.

If Congress wants to get a SC ruling, now would be the time to do so, as the Supreme Five may not be as ready to support a Democratic administration's power grabs as it might have been to go wherever Republicans wanted to take executive power. Then again...who knows what the Roberts Court might do?

As has been pointed out, by allowing the executive to take initiative --and responsibility-- for such wars, Congress can claim whatever happens is either not its fault or they supported it. A weasely win-win for Congress. But, that is not what the Constitution says is the role of either the executive or the legislative branch. Now, one branch is ravenously power hungry and only too willing to use those newly acquired powers and the other seemingly too timid to stand on its constitutional duties and rights.