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Seizing control of the remote

[This series of comments is well worth discussing as a corrective to the bright shiny objects of campaign coverage dangled in front of us daily by our betters in the Village. I think the interchange so interesting and provocative that I'm going to call it out as a post. -- lambert]

Commenting on Obama's unprecedented tour of the war zones, bringiton writes:

On both fronts, Iraq and Afghanistan, this trip has moved Obama from a “presumptive nominee” to the foremost advocate of a rational approach to America’s problems there, moved him ahead of not just John McCain but also George Bush in his standing as a world leader....

The political power, indeed the voice of government as expressed by the people, has already shifted in America; we are witness to a slow-motion coup d’etat, a transfer of power well in advance of the formal election and one that is being done peacefully. This is extraordinary, unprecedented as Lambert observes, and well worth reportage.

Further, bringiton writes:

The monster of an Imperial Presidency conceived by Nixon and embodied by the Unitary Executive of Cheney and Bush is about to turn on its creators; there will be revenge, and it will not be pretty.

It remains to be seen what all will be done with it under the hand of its new master Obama, who is a clever lad and quickly realized that he did not need to wait for an election to take hold of the remote control, but compared to McCain it simply cannot be as bad. This particular maneuver, outflanking and turning back the imperialist adventurism of Iraq and vowing to start cleaning up the absolute debacle that is Afghanistan, appears to me to be a useful employment of power and one about which I am going to remain optimistic until I am shown otherwise.

Discuss.

Alea iacta est?

I, for one, welcome our new overlords....

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Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

differ noticeably from the old ones.

Am I bitter? Nah. I'm beyond that. I'm thinking that maybe I missed something really important -- maybe the entire process of elections has been rendered irrelevant, and what's important is who you know, in DC.

In that case, no matter who grabs the remote, we are all well and truly screwed.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

Submitted by lambert on

I mean, a transfer of power before any actual election. What could go wrong?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by cg.eye on

now, at the Convention level, when there's still time to put some things right, but it's good when Obama gets the same widesweeping unitary executive powers to shape the DNC and the lives of the people (note that I didn't say the Federal Government -- that pesky Permanent Government thing means they already have their book of oppo blackmail in place for him) the way his handlers and funders want?

What was the difference between Obama's and Clinton's potential administrations, again?

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

I will continue to dream of an America where the transfer of power occurs in the sunshine with an impartial media reporting.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

But I'm convinced that if it's in DC, it's crooked.
If it wants to go to DC, it's crookeder.


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

no Democrat will be allowed to use the expanded power--ever. no Democrat is never allowed to change our foreign policy of invading or propping up dictators and strongmen--nor do they even want to.

and this is lies--just lies-- "This particular maneuver, outflanking and turning back the imperialist adventurism of Iraq and vowing to start cleaning up the absolute debacle that is Afghanistan,"

Obama is not outflanking nor turning back anything in Iraq at all. You show us where he's doing so--he's actually planning on expanding the military and keeping private mercenaries/contractors too, as well as keeping 60-80,000 troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

Afghanistan, as a comment at TalkLeft says, is "where superpowers go to die"-- We never went there to build democracy or to eliminate the Taliban--we went there only to get Bin Ladin.

And speaking of our imperialism and actions abroad as the GOP does--as a "war on terror", as Obama always does-- is not change or seizing control of anything--it's simply status quo with a different face.

You attack and insult all of us, BIO, but you should be turning your fire on those with power--it's sad that you never ever do, and simply accept what they all do as ok.

Submitted by lambert on

Here:

The political power, indeed the voice of government as expressed by the people, has already shifted in America; we are witness to a slow-motion coup d’etat, a transfer of power well in advance of the formal election and one that is being done peacefully.

Is that diagnosis right, or wrong? That's the point at issue. Right or wrong? And, either way, what are the implications?

True as your other responses may be, they're off point. I know Obama is what the Victorians would have called "a sound Empire man; he's a centrist. I left all that shit in there to make sure I had the analysis in context; the key point, as I said, is above. That's what's new and different.

So, it is right or wrong?

NOTE Except for the "attack and insult all of us," which is either part of the "ladies" permathread -- which is, to anticipate, a separate thread -- or silly.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

What matters is not whether Obama is the "foremost advocate" or a "clever lad" or "taking power now" or anything else set forth above.

Being excedingly generous to Obama, after a few hours on the ground in Afghanistan, Obama knows slightly more about the situation there and the larger subject of foreign policy. Which means he now knows slightly more than the "fuck-all" he learned by attending primary school in a foreign country - the sum total of his international experience until a day or two ago.

Because, like everything else that hinges on this election, the outcome depends on ability and skill and experience - things in short supply on the Obama side (or the McCain side for that matter). The proposition being put forward here is as meaningful as "hope" and "change", and equally substantial.

It may be a clever political or PR move, but I don't see it saving American or Iraqi or Afghani lives any more than landing on the deck of carrier and showing off your codpiece. It's still all codpiece.

Submitted by lambert on

Just let me try to get this straight.

Your argument, if I understand it correctly, is that a change in the Constitutional order, such that a candidate can act as if already elected, is less consequential than a candidate's foreign policy experience.

Yes? If so, I think your political stance is profoundly silly.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's only right if you surrender all possible actions to rectify it (and we still do have actions that can rectify it, which belie it further.)

It's fatalistic, passive, beyond cynical and well into apathy, and it presumes that it doesn't matter whether we support a liberal or a conservative, a Tom DeLay or a Bernie Sanders, a Jesse Helms or a Russ Feingold, etc...

Most importantly, it fatally ignores domestic needs, domestic problems, and domestic policy entirely--where there are differences bet most Democrats --including every single previous presidential candidate, btw-- and Republicans.

(i mean fatally entirely seriously too--people die when they don't have health insurance or homes)

Submitted by lambert on

Amberglow:

I should have written "correct" or "incorrect," not "right" or "wrong," since that brings the moral dimension in, opening the door to a lot of nonsense about cynicism and passivity. (If you think you might have cancer, it is neither cynical nor passive to get an accurate diagnosis, yes?)

Is the thesis correct?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that's not BIO's entire message to us here tho--not by a longshot.

Plus, what's been happening under Reagan and Bush are not the usual bipartisan "we meddle and prop up dictator actions"--they're vastly different from our actions for most of the 20th century, and Obama is on record as both ratifying Bush's actions and expanding our military and bombing actions--- both of which have failed utterly in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Submitted by lambert on

.... that bringiton's central thesis -- helpfully, I've bolded it for you -- is true, since you seem incapable of engaging with it and responding to it.

As for the "entire message".... Well, that's not something that's really within my perview, absent installation of Drupal's telepathy module. May I suggest we stick to the words of the post? That's far easier to do, for some of us, and who knows? It may lead to some useful discussion!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

you're ignoring the fact--very pertinent fact--that BIO says these things as part of his insulting of us for not shutting up and buying it.

So--Obama and the DNC insult us and tell us to shut up and drink it. and BIO insults us and tells us it's all a farce anyway--primaries are a farce, voting is a farce, it's all fixed and corrupt, etc. That's his only message--ever.

We point out that Obama's trip actually is theater and a crock of shit and that occasions yet more insults from BIO--that's the real problem here-- this isn't about his cynicism and apathy, which are well established.

You never notice, i guess, that BIO never ever suggests actual positive action or steps to remedy any of his diagnoses. I do.

Submitted by lambert on

A thesis is a thesis, and an argument is an argument, and in fact, the stupidest and most vile among us is capable of making a point that needs to be addressed. If you can't address and refute the argument.... Why then I shall have to believe it's true.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

neither you nor BIO have addressed its value or utility in any way at all tho. It's simply a diagnosis of already accomplished corruption with no remedy even possible since it's already a done deal and our input, votes, voices, actions, etc, don't matter.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Here's the thing.

I think that McCain will be infinitely better than Obama when it comes to overall foreign policy.

Everything we've seen in terms of Obama's behavioral patterns suggest that his approach to foreign policy will be ad bad, if not worse, than Bush's.... (The policies themselves won't be as toxic... I'm talking about how US power is used, and foreign affairs conducted).

...and I can easily see Obama alienating our allies just as much, if not more, with his own personal brand of petulance and arrogance.

I think McCain understands that the president is the steward of American power. Obama, like Bush, will act as if the powers of the Presidency are a personal perogative.

Obama actually scares me when it comes to issues like Iran, and I think he's much more likely to wind up attacking Iran than McCain would ever be.

Submitted by lambert on

See below.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

... that people are simply not willing to address it. Hence, I've bolded it, and I'll try again.

This is the thesis:

The political power, indeed the voice of government as expressed by the people, has already shifted in America; we are witness to a slow-motion coup d’etat, a transfer of power well in advance of the formal election and one that is being done peacefully. ... [H]e did not need to wait for an election to take hold of the remote control,

Is that thesis correct? Is it true? Is it a useful analytical tool? (My answers are yes, yes, and yes).

Maybe, if we decide the it is correct, we can debate whether the consequences will be as bringiton states (I would argue no).

How about we try facing the facts first, and then talk about what's right and wrong?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the consequences don't matter at all if you believe BIO is correct and true--don't you see that?

There's no possible action or remedy if you accept it.

Submitted by lambert on

Further, because a fact can't be remedied doesn't mean it's not a fact.

My feeling is that we'd better make damn sure we have a good model of what the Village has in store for us, if we're to act rather than react (see under Shock Doctrine).

That's why I think the thesis is interesting and important.

And I don't give two shits about who said what to whom on some past thread, or about the fucking horse-race, either, if there's a new and powerful analytical tool to be had.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

it isn't true. Obama doesn't have the power to make it true. He can talk all he likes, but he can't actually do anything unless (or until) he's elected to the Presidency. And if he loses, as I expect, even his words will blow away on the wind.

Caesar had the Legio XIII Gemina when he crossed the Rubicon. Obama has nothing but his Obots.

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

...on what that definition of "peacefully" is. There's often a silent suffering of victims, who appear to quietly cooperate against their best interests out of fear and powerlessness.

I really wish Arthur Silber was up and about to debunk the hopey hypey goodness and help me read the tea leaves.

Also, Amber glow, I'm not sure the Bush-Cheney-Karzai path through Afghanistan was simply to pursue Osama bin Laden, unless GWB just wanted to shake his hand in "thanks, man, for the opportunity." Why let them eat cak....er, I mean access health care when you can have a pipeline?

I acknowledge I have arrived at this tea party late, not read all the comments, and believe I'm less an ideologue than I am a skeptic. I still want to vote the old fashioned way, not have some benign dictator deciding what's best for me and my weak mind.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Which is better than with, IMNSHO.

Pipelines and oil are at the heart of many decisions. You didn't think Bill Clinton acted out of a peculiar affection for Croatians, did you?

I too wish Arthur the best, and hope he feels better soon. His voice is much missed.

Until then we will have to struggle through the best we can with our own resources, so please do catch up on the reading and weigh in.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Shahs and Saddams to arming the Taliban because they were fighting the Soviets, etc....

We had an actual coup in 2000, when the Executive was handed to the GOP. This is not that.

And i'd also remind people of 88, when Daddy Bush ran a horrible campaign yet won, and extended the Reagan years. This year looks like that to me--not like some agreed-upon transfer of the Executive to us Dems for 4 or 8 years bec of Obama and his people's influence.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

Seizing control of the remote ... It doesn't make any difference who has the remote when there's 57 Channels and Nothing On.

A change in the Constitutional order? We've had 8 years of that, and it'll happen again in the future (read Neustadt on Presidential Power, for instance - an oldie but still a goodie).

Yeah, I think it's more important which of the little people here or abroad live or die and whether they quit dieing sooner or later than whether someone is jerking around the Constitution in novel ways again. Call me silly ...

Submitted by lambert on

And it's all about killing a whole bunch more little people.

Unless you think consolidating Bush's authoritarian gains under Democrats is a better way forward, of course.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by cg.eye on

Because this is the nuclear option that libertarians, the far-left and far-right have preached on for most of our lives.

When we truly and deeply lose our democracy -- when it is made clear that we have transitioned to a series of puppet dictatorships where the same five or ten or twenty families micromanage where this country goes and what it does -- then that is the time for armed insurrection.

Isn't that the reason for the kerfuffle about the Supremes affirming the right to bear arms? That it isn't merely about personal protection -- no automatic weapon would be needed, would it, against one or two robbers? This is the point where the rubber meets the road, all good men go off the grid to the aid of their country. And, it's not happening.

It won't happen.

That mark of the beast thing already happened too. It's called a credit rating, or a driver's license, or the wristband that has our travel information and gives us an electric shock.

The time of the jetpack has past.
So has the fantasy of changing our democracy by any other means short of force, if BIO is correct, since the government now truly is permanent.

I think this is called fascism.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

there's nothing on - not for the problems I want solved. (And I canceled my satellite TV months ago, so I have some experience with this).

The political power, indeed the voice of government as expressed by the people, has already shifted in America; we are witness to a slow-motion coup d’etat, a transfer of power well in advance of the formal election and one that is being done peacefully.

Is Obama CinC now? Will he order the troops home tomorrow? And if he does, will they come home? Will Bush use his statutory authority as Obama tells him to? If not, it sounds like he's as impotent as he was a couple of days ago.

And that assumes he'd choose to do something about it or be able to arrive at what to do. That hasn't changed much in the last few days, either.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...is entirely correct. I think we're watching an 'attempted coup' but it is far from a full seizure of any real power. It's more of Obama pretending to be President -- just like the mighty possum seal. Among many other things, the idea is to evoke the feeling that he's already won so that voters will 'vote for the winner.' It also serves to depress turnout for McCain (a tactic the Obama campaign loved to deploy in the primaries) and helps establish the idea that 'yes, he's experienced enough.' IOW, if it's in people's minds that he's already in charge then they won't question his competence to do the job.

That said, the media's decision to go along with this pretending and pretension is disturbing in that it lends credibility to the idea that Obama is already in charge -- democracy be damned. And 'democracy be damned if it gets in the way of the village's decision to move forward right now' is exactly the message they're sending. IMO, it's one of the reasons why there is such fierce opposition to Obama originating from within the party whether people are consciously of it or not.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Submitted by lambert on

It's actually a lot like February, isn't it?

I wonder when the calls for McCain to drop out for the good of the country will start? Ha ha, only serious....

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

... when you've got one movement?

OTOH, who needs two parties when you've got one Village?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...and I think that fact is what makes Bringiton's suggestion so frightening. IMO, the level of media complicity is as such that a more unified party and electorate could instill real power without process (democracy) in a similar fashion to what he describes.

And yeah, it reminds me of Feb. too. If the patterns hold, McCain will be asked to drop out if and/or when he gains the consent of the majority of the people. lol.

EDIT: This is in response to 'we create our own reality...'

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Obama's numbers are decreasing so I find it hard to see how this is a coup. Despite media attempts, the people aren't really buying into Obama. Will Obama win? Its tied in a year when it should be a blowout for the Dem. It sill can be, but right now its not. Obama has been on the decline in support since Feb despite the current best efforts by the media. So the coup argument appears to be mostly projection of the desired outcome with a little WWTSBQ thrown in. But this time the "SB" are the Obama skeptics.

WWTSBQ has been continuous even if it changes its form. The current trip, IMO, is to get focus off Hillary, rather than anything profound. What do speeches accomplish compared to having publicized hearings (I'd like to see Obama actually take a little executive initiative) and writing legislation to force change? there is widespread agreement that Bush failed and we mostly agree on why.

Obama telling us what we already know just doesn't seem like any coup to me. More like a way to get the SBs to finally Q because he is the man with awesome awesomeness that will do whatever anyone wants to project. This "SB" isn't ready to "Q" at this point.

Only tyrants rig elections.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Obama actually is leading in all major polls by significant margins, has pulled ahead or even in many state polls where he previously trailed McCain, and in my calculation he has pulled even give or take New Hampshire in the Electoral College. No links, but then you didn't provide any either; consider this a preview of a bigger electoral update post to come.

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

Monday, July 21, 2008
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Barack Obama attracting 42% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. That’s the lowest level of support measured for Obama since he clinched the Democratic Presidential nomination on June 3.

I'm not out looking for polls, I just ran across this and remembered your claim. If I come across others, I'll be back.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Today's Gallup:

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on registered voters' general presidential election preferences finds Barack Obama with a 47% to 41% lead over John McCain.

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

John McCain has opened a modest lead over Barack Obama in the key swing state of Ohio. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Buckeye State shows McCain attracting 46% of the vote while Obama earns 40%. Last month and the month before McCain held a insignificant one-point lead over Obama.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

who asked if I was in my right mind - dear god.

Let us remember - the medium is the message. Whether other candidates traveled or not is irrelevant. Other candidates had the substance of their accomplishments as evidence of their worthiness. Obama has no such accomplishments and so he is reduced to cloaking himself in the accomplishments and sacrifices of Europe's dead to render the appearance of gravitas. The intent of the appearance is to make you think that he has seized control. He has not.

Flight suit, Brandenburg gate - it's all the same to the media. it's the newest Ipod. The newest cool thing. The newest flavor of Smuckers. Obama in Germany - ooooh, cool!!! I hope his berries don't have seeds!

Remember G. Gordon Liddy getting all hot and bothered about Bush's package? Think of all the homo-erotic rhetoric around Obama. It's all one and the same. Lifestyle marketing. Welcome to Madison Avenue. Gentlemen, start your engines.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Several things.

(1) The last thread ended with challenging allegations that I have some disrespect for the Constitution, all of which were false and I can only think the result of not having actually read what I wrote. This is, however, not the right thread I think for that discussion; a perfectly good one is here, where I lay out briefly my thoughts and reasons for making a new and better constitution. The first one wasn't perfect, been amended 27 times now and still does not seem to serve our purposes – or have I missed something and everyone thinks things are all hunky-dory in the US of A?

The poor old rag resembles nothing so much as a worn out inner tube, all covered with patches and still leaking, just barely able to keep us afloat. The idea that 200+ years on we can’t do better for ourselves is to me, frankly, flabbergasting. Anyone who is interested, please go to the link and tell me where I’m wrong. Have no fear; I am only markings on a screen and have no one much on my side other than Thomas Jefferson.

(2) I must apologize a bit for having been less than clear in the earlier thread, although I do urge anyone interested to go to the links Lambert provides and read me in context. I’ve been watching GeeW and his international relations for some time with a mixture of bemusement and dread, and intended to write a piece about the shift in foreign policy authority from BushCo to Obama when this trip was over. Lambert in his way sniffed something out of the ordinary and temped me into sticking my oar in before I had thought things all the way through; still, some good fun is to be had trying to sort out events while they are evolving.

(3) There has been a vacuum in American foreign policy and international relations for some time now. Over the last year, Bush himself has become completely irrelevant and what negotiations have occurred have been handled by State. Even there, the real work has been done by career staff and Condi has done what she does best, stand back and stay out of the way, then take credit. North Korea, the big triumph, is only now where it was when Clinton left office except that in the interim, as a direct result of Bush’s policies, they did indeed develop atomic weapons capability and build some bombs. Good job there, and the Northies only started to come back to sensible when the other Six-Party nations stepped in to take over and GeeW was squeezed out of the process. Everything else on the planet that affects us is an unmitigated disaster, perhaps the plan and perhaps not, but the rest of the world is heartily sick of it and has stopped talking to George and Dick. At the last several international conferences, our President has been shunned publically; there are photo after photo showing him sitting alone staring off while all around him other leaders are engaged with each other in conversation.

That smart-ass simpering cocaine and alcohol addled inarticulate dime store cowboy embarrassment that we’ve all grown to loath is not an act; that is GeeW, right out front and real, and nobody wants to put up with him anymore. Even Maliki, the tenuous prime minister whose status in office, and indeed his very life, depends on the continued support and good will of 150,000 of the most dangerous military troops on Earth who are occupying his country, jumped at the chance to defy and rebuke both Bush and McCain at the first opportunity for a face-to-face sit down with Obama. It can only be that the Obama staff and Maliki had discussed ahead of time what would be presented and what each of them needed; these things are never done on the fly.

Since the outcome of the Democratic primary became clear, Maliki has stood up to Bush on the oil contracts, on the status of forces agreement, on insisting that a “time horizon” be negotiated, and has now embraced Obama’s proposal for a major forces troop exit at 16 months. Only after Bush, and one assumes Cheney and others were present with him, delivered an ultimatum by video-conference – presumably because they didn’t trust what they might hear, they needed to see him sweat – did Maliki back off and then without denying his earlier comments and not through official channels but rather through the US military structure. The negotiations for the future of Iraq are now being conducted between the Prime Minister and a US Senator, who is not even his party’s official nominee as a candidate for the presidency.

The same thing with Karzai in Kabul, a man left to dangle for years with insufficient support and bungled strategy while his country slowly slides into anarchy and narcoterrorism, able only to hide out for his very life within a small quadrant of the capital. For years Karzai has called for more troops, more reconstruction, more infrastructure advancement, and those calls have been echoed by every military commander in country and every UN and NGO relief organization on the ground. Bush has done nothing but make one mistake after another in Afghanistan, again perhaps deliberately and perhaps not, but the net result is another disaster. Karzai is also now talking directly to and openly negotiating with Obama, another head of state in another critical situation who has abandoned any pretense of wanting to deal any more with the actual President of The United States.

(4) There are many aspect of this thesis – and it is just that, but I believe with the facts thus far it bears up well – that are frankly horrifying. That horror is the reason I brought it up in the first place. Pointing out that some great ravening beast is loose upon the Earth is not the same as endorsing it, as some who are unhappy with me for other reasons would have it. Failure to address the issue is just that, and all the name-calling and false accusations in the world won’t change the lack. Fear, perhaps, of having to deal with a possible reality instead of sheer rumor.

In the longer term I have no good idea what this might mean, but I do feel it does not bode well for anyone. The nearest thing to it I am aware of is the secret negotiations with Iran by Reagan, but he was his party’s nominee at the time. Whatever Obama’s intentions, and I claim no more ability to mindread or predict the future than I am willing to credit anyone else, it is not a good thing on principle for anyone other than the Chief Executive or his delegate to be making these kinds of agreements – and agreements they are. Too much power, especially outside the limp but still present confines of actual elected Constitutional authority, is more than anyone should have or be expected to bear. We shall simply have to wait and see what happens down the road; this is not, IMHO, a subject that is amenable to outside influence although if anyone has any ideas about how to have an affect on these events I am all ears – or eyes.

In the short term it is beyond horrific that the sitting President has so completely alienated the entire world and all of its leaders. What were people thinking when they voted for him? I cannot imagine. How is it that in every international relationship the President of the United States of America is held in contempt? Even his erstwhile personal allies have been kicked out of office by their citizens or have turned their backs on him. His Secretary of State is an international joke, politely ignored by foreign ministers and heads of state and no longer even covered by major newspapers when she travels to attempt to broker something, anything that might be meaningful (last two paragraphs). Our President and Vice President and the Cabinet are loathed and ignored throughout the world, while we and our interests have been badly served for a long time and are now wholly unrepresented.

(5) Obama has stepped into the void left Bush and Cheney to seize the power representing America in both Afghanistan and Iraq. So far, and I say this with fingers crossed, he has succeeded in negotiating agreements with Maliki and Karzai that conform to what needs doing, get out of Iraq and clean up Afghanistan. Sounds good, but then one never knows what will actually happen once he is in office. Still, it seems to me that having an adult take charge is probably better than simply leaving a void. The Plutocrats handed the remote control for the Imperial Unitary President Monster to Bush, an untreated coke-head alcoholic, and Cheney, a victim of multiple strokes in the last stages of cardiac failure; the boys lost it, big surprise, and now Obama has picked it up.

(6) Just to be sure we have this in perspective; Obama is not the first non-President to assume such a role. Ronald Reagan was conducting secret, unauthorized foreign policy negotiations, in direct contrast to the best interests of America and American citizen hostages, while he was running for the office. Obama, at least, is being open about it and thus far appears to be moving things in the direction any sane person would want. Woodrow Wilson’s second wife, Edith, took on the role of gatekeeper for him after his stroke and kept him isolated from the Vice President and his Cabinet, selecting what issues were presented to him and relaying his decisions to others; or at least her interpretation of his wishes. Obama, at least, is an elected United States Senator.

This isn’t a good deal for anyone, but it isn’t entirely unprecedented either.

(7) Is this a secret handover from one arm of the Great Plutocratic Conspiracy to another, a working in of the new puppet-apparent now that the current figurehead has become useless? Is it, as I characterized, a slow-motion coup d’état with one ruling clique seizing an opportunity to begin a transfer of power irrespective of the electoral process and outside the constraints of the Constitution? Is it empty of any meaning, a shallow PR stunt that Teh Evil Bringiton is peddling here at the Mighty Corrente Building in his secret role as an agent for the Great Obama Conspiracy to undermine the last best hope for the resurrection of St. Hillary? Or is it just a damn good thing that somebody half-assed responsible is grabbing the unattended rudder of a floundering ship?

I don’t know for certain, truthfully, not claiming to know absolutely, [Note: I am not a Secret Agent Man] but it does appear to be happening and it does seem to me to be worth discussing whether the MSM is talking about it or not.

Submitted by lambert on

1. The Clinton impeachment saga was a slow-motion, media-fuelled coup that culminated in the theft of election 2000 in FL. So it's not like the Village doesn't have the tools for this. Anyhow, if the Constitutional machinery wasn't creaky when the Republicans started in with Whitewater, it was pretty damn creaky by the time of Bush v. Gore.

2. In retrospect, the fact that there's never been any payback for election 2000 from the Dems is an interesting datapoint. Eh? In fact, if you inventory the Constitutional outrages the Republicans have committed, and which the Dems have colluded in, you've also got an inventory of the executive powers the Democrats think they should have. Naturally, the Ds, being good, can be trusted with them, as the Rs, being bad, cannot, but still. (Irony alert....)

3. I hope bringiton is OK with my putting his thesis forward before it was fully formed and strongly evidenced, but if he's right, it's important to know it now, eh? After FISA, and the primary generally, I have a Kafka-esque sense that no rules, literally no rules apply in the Village any more, and that goes for both parties. As in everything else about this election, nobody knows anything. Anyhow, this thesis is an interesting yield for a simple question like Can anybody else remember a presumptive nominee taking a foreign tour? Ask a question, and you get an answer....

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"...Obama has stepped into the void left Bush and Cheney to seize the power representing America in both Afghanistan and Iraq. ..."

This is not so--

1. Al-Maliki and Karzai only have power on paper (and neither actually control their countries by any means at all--nor are either actually anything other than our puppets--which the populations of both countries are well aware of, btw) because of our military and other presences propping them up and telling them what to do and not do.
2. The resources of Iraq and the negotiations regarding Western Oil Co. Contracts and our continuing influence -- and our continuing presence there for years to come-- are not at all anything Obama has any influence over. It's the Administration that is jerking Maliki's leash, and writing their laws, as they have been for years now.
4. If you look at the big money and other influences behind Obama, you don't find those companies or orgs that actually are players in that region or would like to be. You find domestic energy powers like coal and nukes, and investment/banking primarily--and those are not players in that region--they're players elsewhere, as shown by the trade agreement stance he has, and the "i'm a free market guy" shit.

Further, even tho Obama has pledged to upgrade the tech and weapons and stuff in our military (think contractors), and grow the military, those companies have not been supporting him-- this is the only one i've found--and Crown has known Obama for years and is not a big player.

Plus, beefing up Afghanistan and reducing our presence in Iraq without having those Iraq oil contracts locked down is not at all the plan. No one in the WH or industry wants that, since they've already made their pipeline/etc deals in the Afghan region, and need to ensure that the oil in Iraq stays in our orbit and not China's or the EU. That's a longterm thing, and has been set up to be.

Obama being very very corporate/big industry friendly is not the same as him being some kind of heir apparent to GOP plans. Him being passive and status-quo is also not the same.

I'll also throw in that powerbrokers in the GOP and relevant industries too are behind McCain, and Rove and his progeny are as well.

Money/Contractwise, they know that McCain is a safe bet, foreign policy/military-contractwise. Obama isn't.

makana44's picture
Submitted by makana44 on

“Obama may not be the great leader of progressive resurgence that is needed, but he is certainly not as bad as the Republicans.”

Apples and oranges. Obama is not a party. But with a supermajority of grateful obeisant trough-slurping Democratic congressporcines providing not check nor balance he can wrought far worse than one’s darkest nightmare. Arrogance, hubris, disdain, and immaturity coupled with insuperable power and fawning parasitic enablers is a recipe for what? Greatness? Justice? A new golden heart-filled age? Maybe not disaster but…maybe.

“I believe that once this change has happened, once the Republican Criminal Cabal is replaced by the Democratic Dithering Machine, the force of public outrage will continue to mount and express itself in ways that will be irresistible.”

Outrage at whom? The outgoing defeated criminal cabal or the incoming one? Do you really think the Democratic leadership is a bunch of inept, bumbling, dithering fools? Every word they spoke every vote they made was calculated ….even if it meant a further loss of military lives, individual liberties, and national treasure. Let the Republicans hang themselves, or at least appear to. The Democrats could have stopped this war if they had wanted to. What does it mean that they didn’t? There is nothing more irresistible than the trough. Why did Ms Nancy not put the fork to K street after she ascended to leadership on that promise? Why did they bring FISA to a vote then pass it? The new toll-keepers are about to arrive along with sugar daddy himself whose cash (and promise of much more) bought more than could 18 million authentic votes and every large and swing state.

“The Democratic Party will be forced to reform, forced to embrace and advance progressive goals, or they will be fractured and destroyed.”

To quote the esteemed Dean of Corrente: “Haw!” They will be bound by lucre and the exhilarative ambrosia of power and they will hold on to it with white knuckled, ham fisted, unquenchable ferocity. One with a delicate aesthetic might come to view it as ugly. They will be unstoppable until such time as the force of corruptive decadence corrodes their innards as it did their colleagues across the aisle…which because the Democrats are somewhat new at this, could take generations. Russ Feingold may speak with a lonely passion and Paul Wellstone can turn over in his grave but the ascendance of Obama and his hordes, both young and old guard, will mark the permanent loss of an idealism once associated with what was the Democratic Party. The new party will not welcome the likes of those who cannot accept the demise of progressivism or who faint-heartedly complain about such trifles as the loss of constitutionally guaranteed privacy. Either you will come to praise Caesar or be damned.

Submitted by lambert on

"The Dean of Corrente" -- that stings.

As makana44 says:

The new party will not welcome the likes of those who cannot accept the demise of progressivism or who faint-heartedly complain about such trifles as the loss of constitutionally guaranteed privacy.

Or the loss of the rule of law, with telco immunity (except for the little people, of course).

What do you mean, "will" not?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Where we as citizens might have some effect is in how we manage and deal with it. The Republicans, and as I've said repeatedly somewhere around half the Democrats, are happy enough to see us slide into a quasi-totalitarian nightmare of extreme privilege for the few and bare survival for the rest of us.

You have a choice, of course - for the moment. Which regime would you rather try to deal with in the face of loomimg global destruction, the Republicans or the Democrats?

They will be unstoppable until such time as the force of corruptive decadence corrodes their innards as it did their colleagues across the aisle…which because the Democrats are somewhat new at this, could take generations.
Short memory. The Democrats are equally adept at corruption, it was corruption scandal that gave Republicans their last big opportunity in 1994. This cycle it shouldn't take much time to settle in.

the permanent loss of an idealism once associated with what was the Democratic Party
About damn time. That "idealism" hasn't gotten anyone anything for a very long time, and what progressive things the Democratic Party did were out of pragmatism and neccessity as much as idealism. Both of the parties are tools for getting and keeping power, neither of them care a whit about you and me except for what use we might be to them. Get the stars out of your eyes and accept that there's work to be done to force the direction of change instead of complaining that it isn't going to be done for you.

The new party will not welcome the likes of those who cannot accept the demise of progressivism or who faint-heartedly complain about such trifles as the loss of constitutionally guaranteed privacy.
Progressivism has been a useless and ineffective bad joke for 40 years in this country. Neither party as a whole gives a damn, but the Democrats have a few in their caucus that are nominally progressive and will work to move forward if given some support. The Republicans have none. Don't expect to be "welcomed" by either party; if we want progressive change we will have to fight for it and force our way in. I prefer to fight with the party where a small wedge can be driven into an existing crack as opposed to fighting with one that is a monolith.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

we aren't witnessing anything that isn't part of the normal electoral process -- Obama is not seizing power, and US policy is not changing at his direction.

Bush is a lame duck -- and because of his extreme unpopularity, he's the lamest of lame ducks. Power has not been transferred, its just been lost by Bush.

Submitted by lambert on

... well, surely if power is "lost," it goes somewhere? Somebody picks it up?

To descend to a sports metaphor, when one team fumbles the ball, the other team doesn't go home, they seize the ball and run with it.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

very often when power is lost, it simply disappears -- it isn't 'transferred' to anyone else, at least not in the form in which it existed -- it devolves from "power" to "potential".

Take the "power of persuasion"/"power of the pulput" -- it only exists when it is being used, and is 'power' because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

(I think its important to make the distinction between 'power" and "potential" -- think of a water wheel used to generate electricity. The potential to generate electricity is always there, but unless that potential is "harnessed", the power itself does not exist.)

Submitted by lambert on

... to lose track of it or allow it to disappear or not to exercise it, though I understand the power/potential metaphor. (And we want politicians to seek power, for the same reason we want salespeople to seek money: To get stuff done. Bringing the issue of checks to the fore...)

Anyhow, I find this paragraph persuasive, and it accounts at least for my sense of eerie disconnect in the coverage of this trip, that something important was happening and not being remarked upon:

Since the outcome of the Democratic primary became clear, Maliki has stood up to Bush on the oil contracts, on the status of forces agreement, on insisting that a “time horizon” be negotiated, and has now embraced Obama’s proposal for a major forces troop exit at 16 months. Only after Bush, and one assumes Cheney and others were present with him, delivered an ultimatum by video-conference – presumably because they didn’t trust what they might hear, they needed to see him sweat – did Maliki back off and then without denying his earlier comments and not through official channels but rather through the US military structure. The negotiations for the future of Iraq are now being conducted between the Prime Minister and a US Senator, who is not even his party’s official nominee as a candidate for the presidency.

Makes sense to me.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Maybe; wouldn't be the first time, or likely the last.

But do you not sense at all a shift in power here? Do you see only that Bush has lost his, in terms of the power to influence future events? Certainly Congress has not stepped into the void, a pity but as we have learned there is little that Congress can do in soft ways against a monomaniacal Executive. With Bush hopelessly intransigent, the options are acquiesce or shut down the government and this Congress being composed 3/4 of corporatists isn’t willing to do that even when to do so would be in their own best political interest.

The whole purpose of our political structure is to modulate the grasping for power inherent in any complex society. Thanks to the benighted electorate that sold out their best interests – and ours – for a mess of bigotry pottage, the corporatists have had a full 40 years to distort the interpretation of the Constitution to their own ends and created a new, unconstrained abomination of a power aggregator. It would be, IMHO, naïve to expect that the incoming party would not want to seize that power for itself; of course they will, and that would be no different with Hillary than with Barack.

The choices for us as progressives in the Presidential election are not between “good” and “bad” because “good” is not an option. We can only choose this time, again, between “really, really bad” and “not quite so bad” and we have that choice only because the Democrats as an institution are far less coherent and organized than the Republicans. I am not happy with these choices, but I am grateful to still have one however slender; otherwise, we truly would be down to guns and the guillotine.

It is just a glimmer of a hope, but it is a glimmer; in the other direction is only unremitting darkness.

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

sweet sound of international diplomacy 101, a crash course in "How to Look Like You Have Experience Without Really Trying." A little perspective goes a long way. It's time for everyone to step back and repeat after me.

-This is the candidate who lost the popular vote
-This is the candidate that finagled extra delegates at the RBC
-This is the candidate who moved the DNCs operations to Chicago
-This is the candidate that voted for FISA
-This is the candidate that is gravitating towards center right
-This is the candidate that is removing HRC's name from the nomination process
-This is your candidate?

It certainly isn't mine. All the international jaunts in the world won't earn him flymiles in my book, he doesn't have the experience.

Too fucking little, way too fucking late.
I love this job!

I love this job!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

This is the candidate who is going to be President.

This is our reality; deal with it.

Submitted by lambert on

... to call out the central idea that the post was trying to convey, because some commenters persisted in not getting it.

Is it your thesis that all posts have a thesis?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

This is what this apparent "transfer" is really about, IMO. It's a chance for the media to absolve itself of the last eight years by foisting on giving us Obama. Just as supporting Obama was a way for all those A-list Iraq War supporters to clear their consciences. And this little tour of triumph is a way for the Democratic Leadership to convince itself that having sold out the Constitution and rule of law and caved to the worst president in U.S. history repeatedly, it's all going to be okay because their guy is going to be in charge and the world will love him. See, they did the right thing because it all worked out in the end! And many Republicans will also go along because the best thing for the GOP brand is to put the last eight years behind it as quickly as possible. The Democrats will only be too happy to help. They always are even when they're not co-conspirators.

This entire tour seems to me like it's aimed at trying to make the last eight years disappear. Which, if it were possible, would benefit all of us. Since it's not possible, it will mostly benefit those who have used it to try to paper over their crimes (both moral and legal). Worry not about the past because the future is bright!

Personally, I don't believe you escape the past so easily. From what I can see, we have no plan to really escape it, which would require strong corrective action and accountability. Instead, we're going to make minor corrections and pretend the entire thing never happened. War crimes were no committed. The Constitution was not shredded. The Treasury was not bankrupted. Except, of course, all of those things did happen and the Republic Obama and the Democrats are taking over is weaker for it. But, hey, it's so much happier to pretend that just electing Obama will make everything alright again, right?

NOTE - By "everyone" I do not mean Hillary Clinton. It's quite clear to me that she will never be absolved for having voted for the AUMF. Everyone else gets a clean slate, but Clinton will continue to be blamed for everything that's wrong with this country. Any failure Obama has will be blamed on her and, if she can't be blamed, then her husband's Administration. The Clintons get to be the scapegoat so that the media, the Dem Leadership, the A-list, and so many others can feel good about themselves.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

by many different people and groups all seeking to benefit their own ends. In what way does that disprove my assertion? Why does one use for one group preclude a different use for others?

I have no doubt, as you say, that there will be little stomach for either investigations beyond their political purposes or actual criminal prosecution except perhaps for the least of the offenders. On the other hand, it is my argument that having created this monserous distortion of the Constitution it will be difficult for those who presume to be the Masters to keep control. There will be unintended consequences and they will bite, mark my words.

Submitted by lambert on

This is so not a horserace post.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

chrisvee's picture
Submitted by chrisvee on

President Obama will be our Augustus Caesar, ushering in the empire in the name of saving the republic.

These two threads have helped to articulate what has made me some uncomfortable about this election. If you can keep it...

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I guess I wasn't clear. I think there is such a transfer occurring and I think it's occurring because it's in the Village's best interest that it occur because it moves forward with their absolution. Or what they think will be their absolution because, as I said, it's not as easy to erase the past as they seem to think it is. So, see, I also agree with you that it's all likely to come back and bite them in the ass.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

like one of the predator things in Alien.

Sorry about that, BD; this far downthread I'm apparently stuck in a defensive mindset, can't see agreement when it is right in front of my face. Flinching like a beaten dog, how pathetic.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

"But do you not sense at all a shift in power here? Do you see only that Bush has lost his, in terms of the power to influence future events?"

That would the Bush that just pushed through and signed the FISA bill?

Submitted by lambert on

Either because of Hoyer whoring to the Blue Dogs while Harry and Nancy stood by helplessly wringing their hands, or by the vast majority putting their heads in the trough of telco money.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I have a thesis, about 4/5 formed and possibly complete nonsense, but it does seem to fit the facts as far as I know them. Would an alternative interpretation of power-grasping and sellout philosophy be of interest, or is everyone weary of beating up on me?

Submitted by lambert on

That is all.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

the FISA revision was dead meat until the Democrats revived it. They had plenty of options, but they chose this one, and handed Bush what by all appearances of giggling and glee on his and Cheney's part they took to be an unexpected gift. Why the Democrats did so is an interesting question, and Bush having the power to push it through is not one of the answers.

The power I'm discussing here though is not the literal statutory or constitutional power of the presidency, per se. I'm talking about the power to negotiate relationships and lay plans for influencing future events internationally. There are lots of actors on the domestic front with power, the president is only one of them; on the international side the power is all to the Executive, except for the ratification of treaties and even there the President has many ways to effect the same result.

What Obama is doing this week, as the result I believe of weeks of behind the scenes negotiation, is announce to the world in concert with Karzai and Maliki that Bush is no longer the player to be dealt with in world affairs and that the power to form and direct international relationships has already shifted into Obama's hands. This is a political masterstroke that kicks the only remaining prop out from under John McCain's candidacy, and is also a direct - and dangerous - challenge to Bush's authority as President.

Coupled with Pelosi's public denunciation of Bush as a total failure, a pathetic, pitiful creature needing the comfort of god's blessings, a condemnation and dismissal given while Obama is out traveling the world usurping Bush's unique Presidential authority, there is no doubt in my mind that Obama and the Democrats are announcing the start of a coup - rather, they are stating it, as fait accompli.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

-- that you can interpret this theater, and fly-in, fly-out photo-ops to make him look presidential--and to help his 20% C-in-C gap-- as something actually substantive is beyond me.

Please, seriously--back that up with some kind of actual proof beyond one person's lies or another's--including the Administration's political actions in taking the "withdrawal" thing away from Obama too to render it a moot issue.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero sent out this email about the Senate's FISA vote:

****

"Today elected officials in Washington sold out the Constitution -- again.

Cowed by the Bush administration's pre-election scare tactics, the Senate passed privacy-stealing FISA legislation undermining your Fourth Amendment rights."

Lots more here: http://www.aclu.org/
They have an interesting blog too.

Submitted by lambert on

"Bush" is, for good reason, a scare word. Do your homework, you'll see the Dems are totally complicit on this. Check around here, or read Greenwald.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

Either because of Hoyer whoring to the Blue Dogs while Harry and Nancy stood by helplessly wringing their hands, or by the vast majority putting their heads in the trough of telco money.

Or because Harry and Nancy were briefed on the program and said nothing about it. So they are are accessories to the FISA violations, and need to cover their behinds. And Obama supported surveillance deregulation as a quid-pro-quo for Nancy stopping the nominee selection process.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

either civil or criminal for any act they may have performed in the furtherance of their legislative duties, US Constitution Article I, and that would include closed door hearings and briefings on warrantless wiretapping. Additionally, whatever was presented or discussed in those meetings was not recorded; any testimony would be no more than he said she said and of little to no political importance. They don’t need the new FISA law to protect them from anything.

When and how, exactly, was Nancy involved in “stopping the nominee selection process”? IIRC, all of the primaries were completed, the PLEO’s continue to have full autonomy, and the nomination process will not be complete until the final gavel at the National Convention. Please document this charge.

Your argument as to why Obama voted as he did on FISA fails on both counts.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Something about Clinton made them downright fearful (Conversely, maybe that something is what made Joe and Valerie Wilson trust her so much as to stick by her to the end).

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

anyway...I was responding to the idea of shift in power--and no, I don't think that Bush and Co. have lost most of their power (although they are lame ducks), I remember many here and bloggily elsewhere (like www.talkleft.com, etc.) complaining about how the Dems had buckled under to Bush on FISA even though he was a lame duck and so unpopular and what were they doing--and no, I don't think that the GOPers are handing everything over to Obama. Most of the Dems?--yeah. I haven't seen any proof of the theories here, although I've asked for links and would be very interested in seeing them. It all seems a little hazy but I look forward to finding out more.

Please, Lambert, I understand this was a very frustrating thread (or two) for you, but would you please not make cracks at me and others? Gee whiz, I even gave you quotey goodness and a link.

Your normal patience is phenomenal and I thank you for it. And what DO you want to be called?--you don't like chicken names and you don't like deans.

Submitted by lambert on

and after links and quotes comes analysis!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

at making cracks though Lambert--and good at criticism.

Thanks.

And BIO, I do agree that Obama has always been interested in making relationships across all party lines--remember his publicly displayed friendship with Rice on the House floor--and his friendliness to Lugar, Hagel, Lieberman, etc.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

When and how, exactly, was Nancy involved in “stopping the nominee selection process”?

Pelosi vows to prevent fight at Dem convention

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will step in if necessary to make sure the presidential nomination fight between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama does not reach the Democratic National Convention - though she believes it could be resolved as early as next week.

Certainly Speaker Pelosi seems to think she had the power to stop the nominee selection process.

He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

was that she would intervene if the Rules & Bylaws Committee did not get the MI & FL delegate seating issues resolved prior to the convention; that was the matter she said she would not allow to get to the Convention. Listen to the podcast, starting at 51:00 remaining; the reporter misquoted her.

That clarified, you seem to be continuing to confuse the nomination process, an internally regulated and insider-determined procedure, and the primaries which are a circus for the masses, a show designed to allow the little people to feel engaged and in control even though they are not. The nomination process has not been stopped, although it does appear to have been de facto resolved; it is never the less ongoing and will continue through the convention. No one has done anything to “stop” it.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

it is limited to "legislative activities" and I think you could make an argument, particularly on torture but also on spying, that co-conspiring with the executive branch to violate the Constitution and federal statutes does not fall under "legislative activities", just as accepting a bribe to pass certain legislation is not protected as part of your "legislative activities." Now, maybe a Court would rule differently, but I don't think Nancy wants to test that proposition, do you? That doesn't even get into what other nations' courts will do, if anything, on the torture issue.

And I think it's pretty clear at least some Democratic members of Congress were briefed on the lawbreaking and did not object and possibly encouraged it. So perhaps they aren't so much co-conspirators as accessories after the fact.

Then there is also simply the potential for public embarrassment, kind of hard to keep portraying Bush as such an awful guy if he briefed you on a lot of his lawbreaking beforehand.

Add to that the telecom money and the general enthusiasm for an authoritarian state and there's little reason to expect the Democrats to want a Truth Commission and even less reason to think they will be rolling back any of these new powers once it's their guy who has them.

NOTE - it's unclear to me that Harry Reid has much potential exposure here since many of the briefings appear to pre-date his leadership. Obama consigliere Tom Daschle was the leader in 2002.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

And of course I did not assert that congresional immunity is, nor did the reference I gave which draws the existing distinctions quite clearly.

Bribery has been defined as not being a legislative function and so it is not protected. Even when preceeded by bribery, however, legislative activity including hearings, internal congressional lobbying and horsetrading, the writing of a bill and its passage are all protected. There is nothing in the legal history that I am aware of that would put any member of congress at risk for prosecution, civil or criminal, around any activity within their legislative function in regards to the teleco immunity or the new FISA law. Do you have anything that contradicts that assertion?

I don’t think Nancy wants to test that proposition, do you?
I do not agree. I do not believe that Nancy Pelosi has any fear whatsoever of prosecution for her actions, anywhere, in or out of Congress.

what other nations’ courts will do
Other nation's courts have no interest in or authority over members of congress on issues relating to FISA or telecom immunity.

I think you could make an argument, particularly on torture
I am not interested here in conflating torture with telecom immunity and spying. Another time, perhaps.

at least some Democratic members of Congress were briefed on the lawbreaking and did not object and possibly encouraged it.
Your links point to Jane Harman as the person most involved from the House, and specifically say that Pelosi was not involved in wiretap briefings. If you think Pelosi would lift a finger to save Harman's butt, you have not been paying attention. They hate each other.

Then there is also simply the potential for public embarrassment, kind of hard to keep portraying Bush as such an awful guy if he briefed you on a lot of his lawbreaking beforehand.
These are world-class professionals, as good as it gets; they can beat on Bush as an awful guy and keep a straight face about their own involvement without breaking a sweat. No problem.

Add to that the telecom money and the general enthusiasm for an authoritarian state and there’s little reason to expect the Democrats to want a Truth Commission and even less reason to think they will be rolling back any of these new powers once it’s their guy who has them.
Agreed. It is my argument that we will be better able to get those things and other progressive goals accomplished with the Democrats in power than with Republicans, that's all. I'm not anticipating sainthood from any of them including both Hillary and Barack.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

"The political power, indeed the voice of government as expressed by the people, has already shifted in America; we are witness to a slow-motion coup d’etat, a transfer of power well in advance of the formal election and one that is being done peacefully. This is extraordinary, unprecedented as Lambert observes, and well worth reportage"

if one wants to use the term "coup d'etat" to describe what is happening when a populace get tired of an old leader and looks around for new leadership,

then do so.

but there is nothing especially remarkable about what is really happening in obama's visit to afghanistan and iraq.

nothing at all.

americans were tired of the iraq invasion and occupation long before "obama" became a word spell checkers didn't like.

bush's acceptance scores - the polls on presidential performance - have been in the low thirties (and are now even lower)- for three years.

now,

a real coup d'etat is a phenomenon. it would have had certain characteristics.

leaving metaphor aside, what are the events and characteristics of a coup that could reasonably be applied to the fact that obama went on a foreign affairs education tour.

see coup d'etat

parts of which yield this:

["A coup d’état (also coup) (pronounced /ku?de??t??/ AHD: [ko?o"d? tä]) is the sudden overthrow of a government by a part of the state establishment — usually the military — to replace the branch of the stricken government, either with another civil government or with a military government.

Politically, the coup d’état is a type of political engineering, generally violent (hence "strike", "blow"; French "coup"), but not always, yet differing from a revolution (by a larger, armed group to effect violent, radical change to the political system) in that the change is to the government, not the form of government.

Linguistically, coup d’état is French for “a strike to the state” (coup [blow], d’ [to the] état, [state]).[1] Analogously, the term also is casually used to mean gaining advantage on a rival, either by a group or a person, e.g. an intelligence coup, boardroom coup..."]

i think it its fair to say that

substituting "coup d'etat" as an equivlanet factual discription for

"folks have gotten fed up with, and no longer have any confidence in, in their leadequivalentdescriptioner (in this case, prez bush/cheney)"

has created a thesis that is as spongy as a bog.

why not just discuss the thesis that bush has lost the confidence of his people and what might be the consequences of that loss -

for american, for the impending election, for american foreign policy -

independent of any notion of an obama coup?

obama is NOT the active element in this:

he is the passive, receiving element in the end stage of a failed presidency.

and by the way, the responsibility is lambert's, not bringiton's, for turning colorful rhetoric into "thesis" - and then hectoring all to stand their ground and fight on this soggy, spongy terrain.

Submitted by lambert on

When bringiton qualifies "coup d'etat" with "slow-moving," you'd do well...

OrionATL...

not to make dictionary definitions that don't take that qualification into account...

the entry point into a refutation.

It could be that the...

bog....

in which you are mired...

is entirely of your...

own...

cre--

a--

tion

.
.
.
.

Let me answer your comment by asking a question: Do you believe that Maliki and Karzai are treating Obama as if he were a head of state?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

applied his analytical skills to this "thesis" twelve hours earlier,

and reached the same conclusion,

but with an admirably shorter conclusion.

sez paul:

[ The premise is nonsense...

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on Mon, 2008-07-21 07:14.

we aren’t witnessing anything that isn’t part of the normal electoral process — Obama is not seizing power, and US policy is not changing at his direction.

Bush is a lame duck — and because of his extreme unpopularity, he’s the lamest of lame ducks. Power has not been transferred, its just been lost by Bush. ]

Submitted by lambert on

I must tell Paul. He'll be so pleased?

Meanwhile, I no---

tice... that you address nei--

ther

my response to Paul, nor my

question

to

you.

Hey, this is fun!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

whaleshaman's picture
Submitted by whaleshaman on

But it's merely derivative, not particularly lyrical unlike the poiesis of orionATL.

One needs to be a master of the art first, then a true capacity to mock can be attained, and more fun to be had.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

they are treating obama respectfully and warily, as they should, given the power of the u..s. of which he may well be the likely next president.

when the reagan gang was accepted in talks with the iranians prior to reagan winning the 1980 election, was that a coup d'etat, or simply a smart move by skilled politicians - skilled politicians like maliki and karzai.

if you want to hang your argument on a qualification ("slow-moving") - go ahead.

but doing so just proves my point.

REAL coups, by nature, are not slow-moving, which clearly indicates that you and bringiton are using the term as a metaphor, not a an analytical descriptor.

and by the way lambert, another difference - i like to see "jacta" spelled with a "j". it's prettier that way; i didn't learn church latin.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

what the Supreme Ct did in 2000 counts as a "transfer of power" and even maybe as a "coup" -- this in no way is one, nor has BIO shown that it actually is.

The GOP is uniting behind McCain as i type, and Maliki trying to show he's not a puppet has already been walked back because of the WH--they hold his leash.

As long as there's billions and oil and juicy contracts to be had from Iraq til there's no more, any and all withdrawal talk is just that--talk--That's why the WH is now playing with it too.

And the GOP plays a longer, smarter, and more successful game than Dems--always. Daddy Bush was awful, and not liked, with a bad economy too, but they wanted 4 more years--they got it. They're not done yet.

It's been proven that Cheney's secret energy meetings way-pre-9/11 were about Iraq and its resources, and it's nowhere near proven that their plans are done or defunct in any way.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

One more thought on the transfer is that I suspect we'll get a reminder of who really wields presidential powers on January 20, 2009, when we learn the long list of people Bush has pardoned. Because while everyone is happy to pretend Obama is the new power and brush Bush out of the picture completely, there are still some powers Bush retains.

Not that I expect the Democrats to care or be outraged by any coming pardons. I bet the leadership expresses less outrage at a pardon of Donald Rumsfeld than they did Marc Rich because Rumsfeld may be a war criminal, but he's also a member of the Village. The only thing the Dem leadership is likely to be upset about is that they're aren't on the pardon list. Although if Bush really wanted to fuck with them, he'd pardon them, too, then let them try to explain why Bush thought they might need or want one.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Because while everyone is happy to pretend Obama is the new power and brush Bush out of the picture completely, there are still some powers Bush retains.
Not me. I've limited my assertion, for the moment, to the conduct of foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan; more to come, though, do stand by. Not anyone I've read here, either, so could you give a link to who has such thoughts?

when we learn the long list of people Bush has pardoned
Expect we will see some broad use of the pardon power, but who will object and who will not we'll have to wait and see. Those pardons are a two-edged sword, as they remove the ability to rely on the 5th when testifying. If investigations are held, that could make things very interesting.

No one is forced to accept a pardon, so anyone innocent can simply reject it. I still have seen nothing to suggest that anyone in the Dem leadership, recent past or present, needs a pardon for any purpose.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

my comment:

[ i see paul lukasiak

Submitted by orionATL on Mon, 2008-07-21 19:30.

applied his analytical skills to this “thesis” twelve hours earlier,

and reached the same conclusion,

but with an admirably shorter conclusion.]

was not intended as an argument of any kind, but rather, as an acknowledgment of lukasiak's earlier comment.

but if it WERE an argument to authority,

would that make it illegitimate?

no, it would not.

a classic informal fallacy, such as the "argument to authority" may very well be a true statement in the real world. just as may, for example, the ad hominem comment, e.g., "lambert is getting demanding and a bit flaky in his arguing here".

because my comment was not intended to be part of this argument, i never considered answering your reply to lukasiak, in fact, i had no idea you had replied to him.

Submitted by lambert on

You didn't actually read the threads. Thought so. I'll get back to you later...

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

that your commenters plow thru not only the post but ALL the comments

before commenting?

i never have, here or elsewhere. nor will i ever, except where they are much shorter than the 80 or so i faced a couple of hours ago.

i did however read amberglow's dialog with you.

i thought that he was substantially on the mark, that you were ignoring the substance and emotional validity of of his comments, and that you were being the intellectually bullying webloglord you very occasionally manage to be -

invariably, when you are defending something you value.

do you really expect your commenters to have followed each and every argument made up to the point when they insert comment?

i think that's completely contrary to human nature and, to boot, a very good way to become terminally confused.

the REAL VALUE of a post is

the SUM TOTAL of the post AND all the comments - therein lies the education.

you would do well to give up exercising the occasional extremely intrusive control over relatively spontaneous commentary -

invariably, when you are defending something you value.

when you do so, you are shaping the outcome in a way that may not be very educational.

Submitted by lambert on

And this

comment put

me

right

to

sleep!

Seems like Corrente...

thanks to bringiton, got the narrative 24-48 hours before....

it really started propagating.

But thanks so

very

very

much for your helpful ad--

vice! I'll have a followup tomorrow...

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

First, when I spoke of international courts, I meant torture, although that was unclear in my comments. I think that's the real legal exposure here (especially in light of the latest FISA fiasco). I'm not sure touring torture centers and, at the very least, implicitly consenting to waterboarding and other war crimes (if not outright encouraging it) is "legislative activity." Whether that makes them active enough participants for international or other prosecution or not, I don't know (since I don't know what they did and if they have their way, I'll be unlikely to find out). The briefings on FISA are more likely to come under their immunity. Although, again, I don't know if agreeing to conspire to violate the Constitution and federal law is "legislative activity." This is different than the actual discussion of the FISA bill or their votes on it. That's all clearly covered.

Second, while it was unclear, when I said "everyone", I meant the Village. The Democrats, who want power, the media, who want everyone to get over it and move on, and even some Republicans, who know the best thing for the GOP is to get folks to get over it - all have motives for wanting to go along with this apparent transfer of power. Other than the folks invested in a McCain victory, a dwindling number, or Bush's legacy, and even smaller number, I suspect the entire Village is only too happy to move on to the part of the story where they absolve themselves and everything is forgotten.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

would, arguably, cover every law ever passed that was subsequently found by the courts to be unconstitutional, no? Seems to me more than a bit intrusive to the legislative process.

Reagards torture, and agreed we neither of us know what exactly was said, I'm unpersuaded that short of actually physically participating in the torture there can be any liability for members of Congress who were going about their business within the context of legislation. That exemption does have to be kept very broad or there is no true separation of powers; the legislative branch would always act in fear of the executive and the courts.

Regarding international tribunals, we have lost some stature but I truly don't see any legitimate authority being gutsy enough to put any senior US government official on trial. We're still the big dog on the block; best to not pull our tail.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

That clarified, you seem to be continuing to confuse the nomination process, an internally regulated and insider-determined procedure, and the primaries which are a circus for the masses, a show designed to allow the little people to feel engaged and in control even though they are not.

Incorrect. I am in no way confused.

The nominee selection process is in fact over. It was over when the RBC meeting gave Sen Obama the extra superdelegates he needed to get over the total required to nominate and Sen Clinton withdrew. Everyone now knows this to be true.

Speaker Pelosi controls a block of superdelegates (I'm sorry but I didn't just fall off the turnip truck and I'm not buying that the congresspersons who owe Pelosi favors are free to vote as they please.) She threatened to use that block to decide the contest if it went on too long, that is the actual meaning of the article.

I suspect she got together with Dean and Reid and they made a deal with Obama. (That's called "politics.") That deal was "we put you over the top, however it takes, and you take a dive on surveillance deregulation, because we need this to go away before we get dragged in to give depositions."

This is not my original idea, see Glenn Greenwald:

So, of course key Congressional Democrats who were made aware of these illegal torture and surveillance programs are going to protect the Bush administration and other lawbreakers. If you were Jay Rockfeller or Nancy Pelosi, would you want there to be investigations and prosecutions for torture programs that, to one degree or another, you knew about? If you were Jane Harman, wouldn't you be extremely eager to put a stop to judicial proceedings that were likely to result in a finding that surveillance programs that you knew about, approved of, and helped to conceal were illegal and unconstitutional?

The only thing he doesn't cover is a deal, and I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb. Speculation? Sure, I don't have any recordings or anything. But I was supplying a different explanation for these actions that Lambert didn't cover.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Such a red flag.

The nominee selection process is in fact over.
In fact, it is not over. Others also see it that way [emphasis added]:

Hillary’s name should be in nomination as she has earned that right. She should be a part of roll call to give her the chance to be the nominee.

-snip-

We are running out of time. The Convention is next month.
If there is no roll call, Hillary WILL NOT be president.

Everyone knows? Apparently The Denver Group didn't get the same memo you did.

It was over when the RBC meeting gave Sen Obama the extra superdelegates he needed to get over the total required to nominate
The R&BC meeting did not award any superdelegates to anyone.

and Sen Clinton withdrew.
Senator Clinton has not withdrawn. She has suspended her campaign, an entirely different thing. Suspending leaves the option of restarting her run at any time.

the actual meaning of the article.
As I pointed out, and as the recording of the interview documents, the article was erroneous. The reporter misstated what Pelosi said. You can't just make up whatever suits your argument, and you can't cite an erroneous report as proof either. Well you can, but it isn't sufficient to prove your claims.

I suspect she got together with Dean and Reid and they made a deal with Obama. (That’s called “politics.”) That deal was “we put you over the top, however it takes, and you take a dive on surveillance deregulation, because we need this to go away before we get dragged in to give depositions.”
I suspect they did get together, with both Obama and Clinton. What deal they may have made, we can only speculate. Most certainly, none of them have any legal liability regarding wiretapping or teleco immunity; Dean especially, eh? If either Pelosi or Reid did, wouldn't it have made more sense to just include that immunity in the bill and have done with it? Why leave open the chance that the courts will screw up the secret plot?

This is not my original idea
There's a mercy. Glenn has been wrong before, and he's wrong this time. None of them need any protection for their actions in regard to legislative activities around wiretapping, FISA or the teleco immunity questions. US Constitution, Article I, gives them all the protection they need.

No liability, no need to make any kind of a deal with anyone. Neither Greenwald's speculation nor yours is supported.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

The constitution only puts in place certain restrictions against Government actors (like not entering a home without a warrant or no cruel and unusual punishment) and violating it does not happen simply because you violate a constitutional statute. A Government actor has to violate one of the prohibitions contained directly in the Constitution. Federal agents get sued for violating the Constitution all the time under the Bivens ruling.

But in some ways this is all academic. Whether Pelosi, Daschle, Rockefeller, et al, actually fear prosecution or not does not give them all that much less incentive to cover up their participation in Bush's crimes. Being a Bush co-conspirator is unlikely to be good for one's reputation and I'm betting all of these people don't want to be seen as people who okayed torture and illegal spying. Sure, they're willing to take the heat for retroactively approving it, but to prospectively approve it and sit silent while it goes on? Tell me Pelosi wouldn't want to hide that fact. Again, maybe she didn't do any such thing, but it's awfully convenient how many of the Democrats who were involved in the briefings also pushed the FISA legislation.

One thing I've learned in the last eight years, you can never be cynical enough when it comes to what the good folks in the VIllage have been up to.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

In fact, it is not over. Others also see it that way [emphasis added]:

The nominee selection process is de facto over even if not de jure, and are you actually suggesting that I don't know the difference? Or that I don't understand the details of how it happened? And that I don't know who is opposed to to it?

Yes, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign, the usual term of art meaning that she's done campaigning because she doesn't think she can win but would like to continue to collect donations to pay her campaign debt.

Do you think she would have done that if she weren't convinced that Obama had enough superdelegate pledges (technically not votes, just promises, yes I know, in fact I've said it, I wouldn't have to say this except you keep accusing me of being a naif) to get him the nomination?

What odds do you give that Obama won't be nominated in Denver? 1:10? 1:100? 1:1000?

How many times did you tell folks here that the DNC made their choice, and their votes don't count, and that's tough, and it's a done deal?

Except now, when it suits you to forget it?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Just let me run this back past you, because I am getting confused. When you wrote "stopped" you meant "continues" and when you cited an erroneous press report in support of the word "stopped" (by which you meant "continues") even though the actual interview was available at the same site and in 15 minutes of listening you'd have known that the reporter got her facts wrong and you were repeating a falsehood, which fact I pointed out but you have not acknowledged...then...what? I am afraid I have lost sight of whatever your original point might have been, and have no idea at all what point you are trying to make now.

As I said, way back upthread [emphasis added]:

The nomination process has not been stopped, although it does appear to have been de facto resolved; it is never the less ongoing and will continue through the convention. No one has done anything to “stop” it.

Now you say: The nominee selection process is de facto over even if not de jure, so there's that progress towards agreement between us, at least, but then the hostility returns:

and are you actually suggesting that I don’t know the difference?
Not suggesting one way or the other, appears I was thrown off track when you wrote "stop" but actually meant "continue". Surely my failure to be psychic, once again.

Or that I don’t understand the details of how it happened?
I would have no idea.

And that I don’t know who is opposed to it?
Again, not a clue.

Yes, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign
Good, more agreement.

she’s done campaigning because she doesn’t think she can win
Likely, although she also hedges for the possibility that Obama stumbles and the nomination moves back to her rather than falling into a truly open convention where anything might happen - cynical, I know, but that's me.

How many times did you tell folks here that the DNC made their choice, and their votes don’t count, and that’s tough, and it’s a done deal? Except now, when it suits you to forget it?
Except, I did say this way back upthread:

That clarified, you seem to be continuing to confuse the nomination process, an internally regulated and insider-determined procedure, and the primaries which are a circus for the masses, a show designed to allow the little people to feel engaged and in control even though they are not.

Seems consistent to me. The nomination process is being controlled by the PLEOs, actually by a small segment at the top of that food chain, and no the primaries did not play a role in deciding the selection and yes the superdelegates made the decision and yes it is likely to stick barring some major Obama gaffe or other unanticipatable event, but that is not the same as saying the nomination process has been stopped - unless, of course, if when you say "stopped" you actually mean "continues".

I understand that Bash Nancy is a favorite game, but in this case you have employed an erroneous quote to support your mistaken assertions in favor of a claimed occurrence that never happened, buttressed by speculative needs that have no basis in fact. Now accusing me of inconsistency, where I have been clearly just the opposite, continues that pattern.

I think we've both been very consistent here, one way and another.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

i very much appreciate your several comments above.

the way they were stated and the legal and historical facts they contained provided me with what i felt were strong guideposts in a situation where the ground seemed otherwise to be continuously shifting.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

is the source of much of the "facts"/reporting emanating from prince obama's overseas foreign policy education tour and p.r. event,

also known to dearleaderlambert as "that slow-moving coup d'etat".

check this out:

obama hides from the press.

complains andrea mitchell:

"... Mitchell let loose on this evening’s Hardball, speaking of “fake interviews” and indicating we don’t know the truth of the trip because we don’t know what was edited out of the video that’s been released. ..."

the national security state reports on political news.

Before Mitchell made her displeasure known, Roger Simon of Politico, Chris Matthews’s other guest during the segment, depicted the images coming out of the war zone as all Obama could have dreamed of. …

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

No, I meant stopped, since we both agree that the nominee has been selected, so the process of selecting the nominee is now over, that process having completed its goal.

I think we also agree that the process of selecting the nominee, the end result being that a nominee was chosen, happened shortly after the rules committee meeting, when the only remaining contender suspended her campaign, bowing out of the contest.

We both agree that a process that is over, that is, stopped, is not a process that is ongoing, that is, continuing. And a process which has reached it goal, is stopped and no longer ongoing, as there are no tasks remaining for it.

And the goal of the nominee selection process is to select a nominee, which has been done, as there is only a single candidate remaining in the selection pool. And thus, the nominee selection process is stopped and not ongoing.

Can I possibly be more clear?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

We are not at all in agreement, you and I. Rather, I am in agreement with The Denver Group that the nomination process has not been stopped, that it will not be over until the end of the Convention, and that there is still an outside chance that Hillary Clinton - or someone else - could get the nomination.

While Hillary has suspended her campaign she has not removed herself as a candidate; nor, IMHO, should she. We also disagree on that, as I believe more than one candidate for the Democratic nomination remains. Odds are it will be Obama, but "odds-are" is not the same as "won the race".

Can I possibly be more clear?

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

We don't agree on the observed facts, or even the meaning of common words. As such, continuing the discussion is a waste of both of our time.

You are quite clear that you are willing to employ whatever rhetoric is necessary to "win".