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Clinton's War Plan

[ Posted Thursday, November 19th, 2015 – 18:03 UTC ]

Hillary Clinton has just outlined the approach she'd take as president against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. While not completely specific, it has enough details for some rough analysis. Much of what Clinton would do is either a continuation, extension, or expansion of what President Obama is already doing, but that's not surprising, given Clinton's close ties to the Obama administration. Clinton, however, would go beyond what Obama's doing in a few key aspects. These are all problematic in one way or another, but if she could get the other players in the region to agree (or at least accept) what she'd do, it would go a long way towards making them effective (and not counterproductive). Getting that acceptance is going to be the biggest challenge, in fact.

Before I get to Hillary's war plan, though, one point must be made. The strategy that President Obama has been following has been more successful lately than most people give him credit for. It's just taking enormous amounts of time -- that is the biggest drawback Obama has faced. Obama wanted no American troops involved, although he has since backed down to allow some Americans to assist in the actual fighting (rather than just training other troops). This was supposed to force our allies in the region to do the hard work, rather than risking American lives. We have been supporting the "good rebels" in Syria, the Iraqi armed forces (government forces), and the Kurds, to varying degrees. All have made progress on the battlefield this year, and have recaptured (and defended, and held) territory from the Islamic State. The rebels in Syria are getting pounded from multiple sides, but are at least holding their own. The Iraqi army (also being supported by Iranian militias) have retaken Tikrit and Baiji, and are slowly pressing northwards towards Mosul. The Kurds have retaken towns and territory in Syria and in Iraq, most recently Sinjar (and the crucial highway next to it). As I said, this progress is very slow, but it has turned the tide from the Islamic State's initial unchecked expansion for the first time, and so it deserves mentioning. This is exactly what Obama meant when he answered a specific question about the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq -- we and our allies have indeed contained them, which is a lot better than continually losing city after city to them.

Hillary Clinton would continue much of what President Obama has been doing. But one thing the article on her speech left a bit vague was whether she'd send American ground troops to the fight or not. She would deploy special operations forces that Obama has authorized, and perhaps more of them if needed. But she also said she didn't believe we would have "100,000 troops" in combat -- leaving me to wonder whether any number short of that would be acceptable. Nowhere did she specifically rule out, say, 20,000 or 30,000 troops, so I certainly hope someone will try to pin her down on this in an interview soon.

Clinton would continue the airstrikes we've been launching against the Islamic State, and would ramp up the number of them. She would also give the military advisors on the ground "more flexibility," although this is another clarification that needs to be made. What does she mean, exactly, by giving them additional "flexibility"? Flexibility in where they can go and what they can do? Changes to the rules of engagement? Or what? Again, a question a journalist really should ask her this, sometime soon.

A lot of what she would do in addition to what Obama's doing (or, on some of them, "do better than what Obama's tried" ) would take a lot of very touchy diplomacy. There are multiple players in this war, and they all have interlocking struggles of their own. The Russians are actually more concerned with helping Assad than fighting the Islamic State (although this may be changing with the downing of the Russian civilian jet). The Arab countries have been financing a lot of terrorism and extremism for a long time now, which certainly isn't helping the problem any. Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war with Iran in Yemen. Iran is actually helping fight the Islamic State in Iraq (alongside the Iraqi military), but they've been longtime supporters of Assad in Syria. The Iraqi government has -- pretty much ever since Maliki took control -- been excluding Sunnis from the military and from any governmental services whatsoever. The Iraqi government is also scared of the Kurds breaking off and declaring their own country. The Kurds, meanwhile, have been the most effective fighters against the Islamic State so far, but they are feared by not only the Iraqi government but also Iran and Turkey (if a Kurdistan were ever proclaimed, it would likely try to claim territory from Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey).

Saying this situation is complicated is an understatement. But Clinton seems confident she can walk this maze of overlapping loyalties and enmities, and somehow convince the players to stop their own squabbles and concentrate on the Islamic State. Clinton proposes to lean on the Arab states, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to do more in the fight. She'd also lean on the Iraqi government to reconcile with the Sunnis and Kurds, or face the fact that America would begin arming these groups directly. She would attempt to create a "Second Sunni Awakening" to convince Sunni tribes in Iraq that their future prospects were brighter with America (and with the Iraqi government) than with the Islamic State. She would pressure Turkey to stop fighting their own Kurds and instead seal the border with Syria, so that foreign fighters couldn't reach the battlefield or the Islamic State. She would also convince all the allies to better share intelligence to prevent fighters from entering Syria. She would also pressure the Saudis to not be as concerned with the situation in Yemen, but rather focus on the Islamic State fight. She would set up a no-fly zone in Syria, and she would urge Congress to get up off its collective rear end and pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force bill for her to sign.

That, as you can see, is a lot of diplomacy. If Americans can't even get our own political house in order to pass a war bill through Congress, it remains to be seen how Clinton will be able to get people in the Middle East to reconcile their differences to focus on a common enemy. After all, their differences go a lot deeper (and a lot further back in history) than bickering between Republicans and Democrats.

Clinton's problem would be, in most of these cases, that pushing hard in one direction might cause something else to fall apart. Take arming the Kurds as an example. There's a reason we haven't directly armed the Kurds, and that is because the central Iraqi government is terrified that the Kurds will eventually just declare independence from Iraq and form their own state. So arming the Kurds might mean the Iraqi army begins fighting Kurds in a major way, while easing up on the Islamic State. Turkey shares the same fears about the Kurds, and might also balk if we begin arming Kurds, and also begin attacking their own Kurdish regions to the exclusion of all else. The Sunnis in Iraq may indeed be tiring of the Islamic State rule, but they're awfully wary about trusting the grand experiment of the new democratic Iraq, since they've been burnt by this promise in the very recent past. And Saudi Arabia is much more concerned with Yemen than the Islamic State, since Yemen is right next door to them geographically.

All of this doesn't even take into account the two biggest players in this fight that we refuse to truly ally ourselves with (for obvious reasons). Russia and Iran simply cannot be ignored in this war. But will America eventually forge some sort of uneasy alliance with them? It seems almost necessary, to one extent or another. Take that no-fly zone idea. What are we going to do if Russia announces it will not be respecting our no-fly declaration? If Russia claims the right to fly (and bomb) within Syria at will, how are we going to react? Especially if they continue bombing our "good rebels" more than the Islamic State fighters? Are we really going to spark World War III over a dogfight or two in the skies of Syria? Even if that can be avoided, Russia has entirely different goals in Syria than we do -- they support the Assad government, whereas we want Assad to go. This is a pretty fundamental difference, even if we can manage to avoid dogfights in the skies.

An alliance with Russia is tough to contemplate for most Americans, but an alliance with Iran would be truly beyond the pale. However, we are already in what might be called a non-declared (and very wary) de facto alliance with both countries already. The Iraqi army's push to Tikrit and Baiji likely wouldn't have succeeded without the Iranian militias. Russia is now bombing the same Islamic State city as the French (and America) are. There's been no big summit meeting -- and there likely won't be any time soon -- but in a very quiet way, we are indeed fighting on the same side as Iran and Russia, whether the American public wants to admit it or not. This means they definitely are going to demand a seat at the table, if Clinton does launch a diplomatic offensive to achieve all the tricky goals she's laid out.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying that any of this can't be done. I'm not being defeatist here, merely realistic in laying out the possible stumbling blocks. I largely agree with most of the goals Clinton has laid out in her Islamic State war strategy. The war would be going better if the Arab states, the Saudis, the Turks, the Kurds, the Iraqi Sunnis, and the Iraqi government were working a lot more cohesively (to say nothing of Iran and Russia). This might speed up the timeline of the progress enormously.

I also applaud Clinton for laying out in detail (with only a few vague areas) what her war plan would be. This is much more than most presidential candidates have done so far, so she deserves credit for laying her markers on the table. Clinton knows full well that waging a war is a lot more complicated than just spouting off crowd-pleasing political nostrums. So she deserves credit for saying exactly what she'd do, especially since so much of what she's proposing would require a lot of diplomatic work to achieve.

Diplomacy is Hillary Clinton's strong suit. She was, after all, America's secretary of state. She obviously thinks the chances of these diplomatic proposals actually succeeding is good enough for her to outline them on the campaign trail (she knows, should she be elected, that she's going to be held to what she says now). But much of what she is proposing would mean convincing other players to set aside longstanding hatreds, for the express purpose of crushing the Islamic State. That is an incredibly tall order, especially in that part of the world, where religious and ethnic disputes go back centuries. So I have no idea what the chances of Clinton succeeding really are.

For better or worse, though, Hillary Clinton respects the American voters' intelligence enough to lay out her plan for fighting the Islamic State. Some questions do remain over the specifics of what she'd agree to, but those questions will likely be answered in the coming weeks. Whether this is the winning strategy for the fight against the Islamic State or not, at least Hillary Clinton has such a strategy. That's a lot more impressive than most of the people she's running against.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

67 Comments on “Clinton's War Plan”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Really good breakdown Chris. Thanks.

  2. [2] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Why call this group of terrorists by a name they fashioned for themselves but which is inappropriate in every way?

  3. [3] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    CW -

    Your last post made the point that almost to a person, the Republican candidates were advocating a primary strategy of bombing essentially similar to Pres. Obama's. It makes sense then that fmr. Secretary Clinton's response would be in line with that.

    Lest one think that we haven't been "bomb[ing] the shit of ISIS" already, yesterday's briefing by Col. Steve Warren is illustrative, detailing hundreds of bombing runs over just the last 30 days.

    It is also noteworthy in reading this how the focus is on bombing with a purpose: namely to force enemy resources to have to be continually repositioned in response to coalition bombings. Further, this isn't indiscriminate carpet bombing, but rather a real and deliberate effort to avoid civilian casualties is part of the calculus.

    (If you read the whole thing, you'll notice a rather fun section later in the Q&A where the colonel refers to the capabilities of the Russian bombers with less than complete admiration.)

    Overall, its much more somber reading than much of what is reported in popular American news sites, regardless of one's political bent. Its also another example of how poor the Obama administration has been in making their successes and efforts visible, especially for a president who can be a superlative orator when he puts his mind to it.

    I mean, buzzing trucks to warn the drivers to bail out -- you're about to be bombed -- is a rather impressive expression of power, regardless of your attitude toward our policies in the region. Can you imagine how Donald Rumsfeld would have described that scene in a presser?

    Richard

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    How about we call them violently deranged Islamist barbarians?

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, basically, Hillary's plan is the same thing as Obama's plan with a few vague differences that are unlikely to even come to pass...

    In short, doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result..

    The very definition of insanity..

    Great plan...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    How about we call them violently deranged Islamist barbarians?

    here here!

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lest one think that we haven't been "bomb[ing] the shit of ISIS" already, yesterday's briefing by Col. Steve Warren is illustrative, detailing hundreds of bombing runs over just the last 30 days.

    And yet... Nothing is happening...

    France and Russia have had more detrimental effect on these morons in 2 days that the US has had all year...

    Why is that??

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    e obviously thinks the chances of these diplomatic proposals actually succeeding is good enough for her to outline them on the campaign trail (she knows, should she be elected, that she's going to be held to what she says now).

    You mean, like Obama has been held to all of his promises??

    Come'on, CW!

    You know that Democrats will give Hillary as much of a pass as they did Obama..

    It doesn't matter what she does or doesn't do..

    All that matters is that she has a '-D' after her name...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    In short, doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result..

    The very definition of insanity..

    Great plan...

    And yes, at least Clinton has a "plan"...

    She is one up on the GOP Candidates in that regard..

    Big whoop...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is exactly what Obama meant when he answered a specific question about the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq

    No, it's not.. Obama meant that ISIS was becoming less and less of a threat... Exactly as Obama did when he scoffed that ISIS was nothing but the "JV team"...

    It's only AFTER that claim was totally shot to hell (like his JV claim) did he backpedal and attempt to explain away his bonehead claim..

    If he had MEANT that ISIS was geographically contained then he would have SAID that ISIS was geographically contained..

    But he didn't say that. Obama is a great orator and chooses his words carefully.. He wanted to give the impression that ISIS was knocked back on it's ass...

    And THAT is why he said that ISIS was "contained".. PERIOD...

    The Left didn't go into such nuance when they attacked Bush over the USS Abraham Lincoln's banner of "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"....

    Why not??

    Oh yea... That's right.. Bush has a '-R' after his name...

    Silly me..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW,

    If the GOP can't do any better than "Obama's screwing things up! Waaaah! We have no idea what to do differently, however..." then they don't deserve consideration for the highest office in the land, sorry.

    And, of course, the same applies to Hillary.... Right?? :D

    Apparently, Hillary reads chrisweigant.com, eh? :D

    "Oh no!!! Michale is slamming me for not having a plan!!! I better come up with a plan real quick!!!"
    -Hillary Clinton

    Heh :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Hillary's Perpetual War Plan really should include a payment plan. I would favor a large tax on gun sales - whatever it takes to keep America safe.

  13. [13] 
    Paula wrote:

    rdnewman (3): Thanks for the link to the press briefing -- really interesting.

  14. [14] 
    John M wrote:

    Would it not be better, to a certain extent, for right now at least, for America to be working more with Russia and Iran rather than Saudi Arabia, if we actually want to make any real progress against ISIS? Think about it. Has not the real physical danger to the West at least, Paris, the London bombing before that, 9/11 in the USA, etc. come from Sunni extremists like Al Qaeda and ISIS? Has not Saudi Arabia, with its Wahhabism form of Islam, been the real wellspring both philosophically and financially for radical Islam? Better to export it abroad, thru madrasas, etc. then to face opposition to the royal family at home...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Would it not be better, to a certain extent, for right now at least, for America to be working more with Russia and Iran rather than Saudi Arabia, if we actually want to make any real progress against ISIS? Think about it. Has not the real physical danger to the West at least, Paris, the London bombing before that, 9/11 in the USA, etc. come from Sunni extremists like Al Qaeda and ISIS? Has not Saudi Arabia, with its Wahhabism form of Islam, been the real wellspring both philosophically and financially for radical Islam? Better to export it abroad, thru madrasas, etc. then to face opposition to the royal family at home...

    Considering Obama's tendency to throw our allies under the bus and kowtow to our enemies??

    Yea, yer right..

    That would be the EXACTLY perfect thing for the Obama Administration to do..

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny how ya'all will fall all over yourselves to work with governments that execute and jail people, just for being gay..

    Yet, ya'all refuse to work with Republicans...

    That would be so hilarious if it wasn't so sad...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "It's funny how ya'all will fall all over yourselves to work with governments that execute and jail people, just for being gay.."

    You mean like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq all currently do? And all longstanding allies of the USA for many years through both Republican and Democratic administrations.

    "Yet, ya'all refuse to work with Republicans..."

    No one has refused to work with REASONABLE Republicans. How about that bipartisan immigration bill that passed in the Senate but was never brought up for a vote by Republicans in the House because a minority, the Tea Party, would not support it?

    Foreign governments, at least for the most part, give our President more respect, than the political opposition at home does, then that same opposition cries loudly about how no one is willing to work with them. Funny how that is, huh?

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    ou mean like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq all currently do? And all longstanding allies of the USA for many years through both Republican and Democratic administrations.

    SA, Pakistan and Iraq haven't threatened to destroy the USA or scream DEATH TO AMERICA..

    That's kinda an important distinction..

    At least to those who ACTUALLY love this country...

    No one has refused to work with REASONABLE Republicans.

    The problem is, ya'all define "REASONABLE" are doing it your way or forget about it..

    Foreign governments, at least for the most part, give our President more respect, than the political opposition at home does, then that same opposition cries loudly about how no one is willing to work with them. Funny how that is, huh?

    Let me fix that for you..

    ENEMY Foreign governments, at least for the most part, give our President more respect, than the political opposition at home does, then that same opposition cries loudly about how no one is willing to work with them. Funny how that is, huh?

    There... Fixed...

    No, it's not funny... It's sad...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    ENEMY Foreign governments, at least for the most part, give our President more respect, than the political opposition at home does, then that same opposition cries loudly about how no one is willing to work with them. Funny how that is, huh?

    Crap... It's STILL not right...

    ENEMY Foreign governments, at least for the most part, give our President more laughter and ridicule, than the political opposition at home does, then that same opposition cries loudly about how no one is willing to work with them. Funny how that is, huh?

    There.. Now I think it's accurate...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Would YOU want to work with people who loudly and prolifically called you names like "terrorist" and "arsonist" and "hostage taker"???

    Of course you wouldn't..

    Why do you expect Republicans to??

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale (20)

    Michale makes the crybaby argument -- poor wounded feelings of the sad, abused Republicans. Everyone picks on them and they don't do anything to deserve it! Everyone is so mean! And repubs are so innocent! And they're soooo tough! They should be in charge! Because, between wiping the tears out of their eyes they are SUPERMEN! And that mean, mean Obama has gotten testy with them and it's just soooo harsh! How can we expect leadership or accountability or truth or anything constructive from repubs when they're so beleaguered? AND THEY DIDN'T START IT!! They were innocently picking flowers when mean, mean liberals started calling them names! FOR NO REASON! WHAAAAAAAA! And they're always SO NICE! They're never rude or disrespectful or dishonest -- oh no. Never. Nothing is their fault! NOTHING!

  22. [22] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#7]

    Your response to "Lest one think that we haven't been "bomb[ing] the shit of ISIS" already, yesterday's briefing by Col. Steve Warren is illustrative, detailing hundreds of bombing runs over just the last 30 days."

    And yet... Nothing is happening...

    Three responses come to mind:

    1) So then why are Republicans calling for more bombing if it's not working? Or is it that it doesn't work when Pres. Obama is the leader but it magically will if a Republican were?

    2) By what metric do you assert that it's not working? Because Paris was bombed? Perhaps Paris was a desperate hail mary by ISIS in response to the continual bombing. Perhaps it's disrupting their operations and they'd have been far worse now than they are because of the bombing. I know I don't know the answer, but that also means I couldn't say that it's working or not working. By what measure are you able to conclude that?

    3) Are you suggesting that the US military leadership isn't prosecuting the campaign effectively (i.e., tactically failure) or that it's wrong to be bombing (i.e., strategic failure) or what?

    France and Russia have had more detrimental effect on these morons in 2 days that the US has had all year...

    Really? By what yardstick do you make that claim?Because their last couple of days of bombing have received some dramatic press when the American press got bored with Mr. Trump's candidacy?

    Do you recall the reports a couple of weeks ago where Russia was bombing rebels we supported instead of ISIS positions? Not sure you want to hold up Russia as a paragon of how ISIS is to be dealt with.

    Useful too to remember that, other than Russia, it's a coalition of nations involved in the bombing. So France has been involved for a time.

    In fact, Michale, that was the motivation that ISIS states for bombing Paris. Not sure that really squares well with your (unsubstantiated) claim.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale makes the crybaby argument -- poor wounded feelings of the sad, abused Republicans. Everyone picks on them and they don't do anything to deserve it! Everyone is so mean!

    You ever notice how you sound EXACTLY like you accuse Republicans of being..

    Where's your compassion, Paula?? :D

    Oh that's right.. You don't give a rat's ass about Republicans...

    Bigotry much?? :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    3) Are you suggesting that the US military leadership isn't prosecuting the campaign effectively (i.e., tactically failure) or that it's wrong to be bombing (i.e., strategic failure) or what?

    The problem is that Obama is micro-managing the war from the Oval office. His inner circle of moronic beatniks are calling the shots and Obama is ignoring the commanders on the ground...

    THAT is why ISIS hasn't been defeated or contained..

    Really? By what yardstick do you make that claim?

    Back-channel and private-channel BDAs...

    Russia and France have caused more damage and more havoc to ISIS in the last few days than Obama and the US has done in the last year...

    Of course, Russia and France have personal reasons to kick the shit out of ISIS..

    Obama is too busy fighting Americans and attacking Americans to worry about the "JV"...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, come on, RD!

    We're talking the "JV" here!!

    Obama should have been able to snuff these little turds out in an afternoon...

    So, either Obama was WRONG about these little shits being the "JV"...

    Or else Obama is completely incompetent in dealing with them..

    Which is it??

    Ya see my point??

    NO ONE can say ANYTHING against the Messiah...

    Even when it's blatantly obvious to ANYONE with more than two brain cells to rub together how totally frak'ed up Obama has made things..

    Here is a man who said that the brutal murder and wounding of over 470 innocent people was a "setback"...

    And NO ONE here said boo about it...

    Do you see why it's so hard to have a serious and rational discussion about things when such total and inane bullshit is left un-commented??

    Of course, if the person making such statements had a '-R' after their name, the hysterical comments would fly fast and furious..

    Go ahead.. Tell me I'm wrong... :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Even when it's blatantly obvious to ANYONE with more than two brain cells to rub together how totally frak'ed up Obama has made things..

    In reality, only those who forget what happened between 9/11 and when Obama took office and who have no sense of the long history of American foreign policy would write such nonsense.

  27. [27] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#25]

    NO ONE can say ANYTHING against the Messiah...

    Well, admittedly it's not the criticism you're looking for, but I did just write (#7) "Its also another example of how poor the Obama administration has been in making their successes and efforts visible..."

    That's at least something and I am someone. ;)

    Oh, and of course, there's Chris's 21(!) MDDOTW awards to Pres. Obama. So there more and he's someone.

    So, either Obama was WRONG about these little shits being the "JV"...

    Or else Obama is completely incompetent in dealing with them..

    Michale, you've just offered a text book example of the false dilemma fallacy. There are all sorts of other explanations. He wanted to insult them to help lower any credibility, he didn't appreciate their danger early on but then adjusted with more firepower, it takes two afternoons and not just one...

    Your arguments would probably be more convincing were you not to write in hyperbole and absolutes. That doesn't help a serious and rational discussion either.

    Can you, for instance, cite where you find measurable and objective evidence that "Russia and France have caused more damage and more havoc to ISIS in the last few days than Obama and the US has done in the last year"?

    It's an honest question. I don't really know and you have every opportunity to help clear up my ignorance or at least point me in the right direction.

    The problem is that Obama is micro-managing the war from the Oval office. His inner circle of moronic beatniks are calling the shots and Obama is ignoring the commanders on the ground...

    And your corroborated evidence for this claim?

    "Moronic beatniks," really? All of them? Not a good one in the bunch, eh? The majority of his advisors are not just mistaken, not just perhaps less capable than other administrations, but all the way to "moronic beatniks"? For any complaint I've ever had about an administration I disagreed with, I don't think I've ever painted with such a broad brush with such a deep and brilliant hue as you just have.

    A bit more moderation in your tone and bit more evidence to your claims and we might have the start of an interesting discussion. Michale, my friend, you've had 2/3 of all the comment posts for this article to put some real material on the table...

    Richard

  28. [28] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#13]

    You're very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, you've just offered a text book example of the false dilemma fallacy. There are all sorts of other explanations. He wanted to insult them to help lower any credibility, he didn't appreciate their danger early on but then adjusted with more firepower, it takes two afternoons and not just one...

    Yea, and Obama plays 12 Dimensional Chess... :D

    You prove my point for me..

    You are aware of the concept of Occam's Razor, right??

    "Moronic beatniks," really? All of them? Not a good one in the bunch, eh?

    Yea, pretty much...

    The majority of his advisors are not just mistaken, not just perhaps less capable than other administrations, but all the way to "moronic beatniks"? For any complaint I've ever had about an administration I disagreed with,

    For example?? :D

    I don't think I've ever painted with such a broad brush with such a deep and brilliant hue as you just have.

    Of course not.. Ya save the broad brush for Republicans.. No?? :D

    A bit more moderation in your tone and bit more evidence to your claims and we might have the start of an interesting discussion.

    You mean like calling Republicans "terrorists" and "arsonists" and "hostage takers"?? :D

    I don't mean you personally.. But you and the majority of Weigantians (Grand Poobah exempted, of course) stand idly by and let such non-"moderation" go by unchallenged..

    Silence gives assent, my friend..

    Michale, my friend, you've had 2/3 of all the comment posts for this article to put some real material on the table...

    I am a product of my environment... :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    There are all sorts of other explanations. He wanted to insult them to help lower any credibility,

    If this is true, then the argument could be made that Obama goaded the "JV" into their attacks.....

    If that argument sounds familiar, it should.. It's the exact same argument that Democrats (including many Weigantians) made against Bush after his BRING IT ON speech..

    You see my point??

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    If this is true, then the argument could be made that Obama goaded the "JV" into their attacks.....

    If that argument sounds familiar, it should.. It's the exact same argument that Democrats (including many Weigantians) made against Bush after his BRING IT ON speech..

    Of course, you and I (being intelligent reasonable and logical people) know such an argument is spurious and utterly ridiculous..

    But that didn't stop the Left Wingery from MAKING the argument...

    Am I wrong??

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    n reality, only those who forget what happened between 9/11 and when Obama took office and who have no sense of the long history of American foreign policy would write such nonsense.

    The problem is that you prefer this world where American "power" is laughed at and ridiculed..

    Say what you want about Bush, but our allies respected US power and our enemies feared it....

    Now our enemies laugh at US "power" and our allies roll their eyes..

    These are the facts of Obama World....

    And they are undeniable...

    PUTIN: "Hay Xiang! I have a great joke for you!! 'Knock, Knock' "
    XIANG: "Who'se there?"
    PUTIN: "President Obama.. Hahahahaha"
    XIANG: "hahahahahahahahaha"
    PUTIN: "I love that one.."
    XIANG: "Me too."

    This is the reality.. Whether you agree or not..

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The problem is that you prefer this world where American "power" is laughed at and ridiculed..

    Ah, no ... that would be YOUR world and the world of most congressional Republicans and some congressional Democrats.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ah, no ... that would be YOUR world and the world of most congressional Republicans and some congressional Democrats.

    Nope..

    MY world is where US power was respected and feared..

    Bush world..

    Reagan world..

    It's always Democrats who seem to make the US the laughing stock of the world..

    Carter...

    Clinton....

    Obama....

    Sensing the pattern??

    But that was a good joke, wasn't it?? :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Paula wrote:

    First Michale makes the "crybaby" argument, then he follows with the "bully" argument: he longs for the time when America was "respected" and "feared". Well, GW certainly created a lot of fear but he sacrificed respect. The Clown Car and all the people they represent take respect and throw it in the nearest volcano. But that is the level from which Michale and Repubs appear to operate -- hit things, smash things, and scream until you're blue in the face. Wield your assets as irresponsibly as possible and do as much collateral damage as possible because it evokes "fear". Michale -- you are so very, very good at making clear why repubs need to be moved as far away from power as possible.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    First Michale makes the "crybaby" argument, then he follows with the "bully" argument: he longs for the time when America was "respected" and "feared". Well, GW certainly created a lot of fear but he sacrificed respect.

    As opposed to Obama who sacrificed respect AND fear...

    But, if you REALLY want to talk about "cry babies"??

    How about the moronic Left Wingery that whines and cries that the Paris Terrorist attacks took away the spotlight from their racist activities and created the hastag #FUCKParis..

    You see, this is EXACTLY the blatant hypocrisy I am talking about..

    You whine and cry about "FEAR MONGERING" but ignore the blatant and ongoing fear mongering from the Left Wingery..

    You whine and cry about "cry babies" but completely ignore the cry babies from the Left Wingery..

    How can anyone take you seriously when you are so completely and utterly enslaved by Party ideology??

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Under the Bush/CHENEY administration, US foreign policy went off the rails. American power may have been feared but it sure as night follows day wasn't respected, by anyone.

    Worse still, American power as used by the misguided Bush/CHENEY administration made a bad situation much, much worse, on any number of fronts, and American presidents will be dealing with the fallout for a very, very long time.

    The Obama administration, despite its faults - and there are many - has worked very well to reverse course on a broken US economy and a failed US foreign policy.

    You can't see any of this because you personalize everything and let your emotions get the better of you ... every single time you try to make an argument. And, you think Obama is evil incarnate and that is why very little of what you write here makes any sense.

    For you, everything is seen through an extremely warped prism of Democrat vs Republican and no issue or policy can be discussed solely on its merits or deficiencies. I'm afraid that bores me to death.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Under the Bush/CHENEY administration, US foreign policy went off the rails. American power may have been feared but it sure as night follows day wasn't respected, by anyone.

    Yes it was...

    But I understand why you can't concede that..

    No one messed with the US during the Bush years..

    "We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way.'
    -Toby Keith

    The Obama administration, despite its faults - and there are many - has worked very well to reverse course on a broken US economy and a failed US foreign policy.

    Yea, that's the Administration line..

    But ask our allies.. UK, France, Israel, etc etc..

    They will roll their eyes...

    Ask our enemies.. Putin... The Mullahs... China... North Korea...

    They will laugh their asses off..

    You can't see any of this because you personalize everything and let your emotions get the better of you ... every single time you try to make an argument. And, you think Obama is evil incarnate and that is why very little of what you write here makes any sense.

    It makes perfect sense..

    To those not enslaved by Party ideology and dogma...

    For you, everything is seen through an extremely warped prism of Democrat vs Republican and no issue or policy can be discussed solely on its merits or deficiencies.

    And yet, every comment in this blog (sans mine, of course) goes on and on about how evil and dastardly the Republicans are and how awesome the Democrats are..

    You HONESTLY are trying to tell me that *I* am the ONLY ONE who views things thru the "warped prism of Democrat vs Republican"...

    REALLY??? :D

    Like I told RD... I am a product of the environment..

    If ya'all wouldn't go on and on about how perfect Obama and the Democrats are, I wouldn't be so inclined to PROVE to ya'all how wrong you are...

    Think about it...

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth (37):

    I don't think he can grasp your point. He just can't.

    And your point re: Bush/Cheney vs. Obama, warts and all, is spot-on. No one here thinks Obama is perfect but Michale continually insists that we do. It must be all or nothing for him -- Obama is perfect or horrible in every way -- can't be human, can't be imperfect, can't be dealing with thorny problems that don't offer ideal solutions, can't make slow improvements.

    He doesn't seem to grasp the idea that one can approve of 75% of what a Pol does and disapprove of 25%, and live with it. It's gotta be 100% or 0, which is one of the reasons Conservatives lie so much. They can't allow for any nuance at all, so when their folks blow it they just pretend something else happened and change the subject.

  40. [40] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale #29

    But you and the majority of Weigantians (Grand Poobah exempted, of course) stand idly by and let such non-"moderation" go by unchallenged..

    Not sure what you're thinking of here. I don't recall that I've seen anyone here refer to any Republicans as terrorists and the like. I haven't been with the site all that long though. Or are you saying that we're not calling out people on other sites?

    I have seen several people (@John from Cincinatti did not long ago) point out disappointments with Pres. Obama too, though in fairness, that may be because they were prompted.

    ***

    On another note, I'm musing on your point made in other posts about fear-mongering on both sides.

    It occurs to me that if I think the sky is falling and am screaming that at the top of my lungs and you think there is no chance of it, then I appear at least paranoid. If you doubt my fear to be genuine and screaming about it only to get attention, then you think I'm fear mongering. And of course, vice versa.

    So then if I don't share your fear, my most generous response would be to investigate and try to appreciate if I don't understand something. My most likely response is to simply assume your fear is unfounded. And my least generous, my most critical response is to assume you have unworthy motives and are just fear-mongering.

    So while my fears are (of course!) well-founded and you should listen more or I'll judge you're being negligent, your fears aren't at all well-founded (hrrummphh!) and because I judge you're not being genuine, then you're just fear-mongering. Doesn't work too well if we're both doing that...

    Perhaps I need to better appreciate why someone might genuinely fear that adding more refugees might bring danger. IOW, stop assuming that the other side isn't genuinely fearful even I don't think they have reason to be.

    I know that if my town suddenly had a large catastrophe that displaced others in my town, I would feel compelled to give them shelter even though they are strangers and so might be nervous at first having them under my roof.

    It's an interesting point when we're trying to really be civil and listen to the other side. Thanks for putting it on the table, Michale.

  41. [41] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#39]

    ...one of the reasons Conservatives lie so much...

    Please don't tell me that you found a broad brush left laying around... ;)

    Richard

  42. [42] 
    Paula wrote:

    rdnewman (41): I appreciate the :) but unfortunately can't give you this one. Conservatives lie. If you want to pick a different word to describe these folks, let's have it. Would "Republican" be better?

    Here's some examples: a dodgy "right-to-life" group puts out a video purporting to show a late-term abortion happening in a Planned Parenthood wherein an apparently living fetus is left to die on the table because it's body would be harvested for stem-cell research. Turns out everything about that video was essentially fraudulent but that didn't stop a huge swathe of Republicans from promoting it as true and using it as a springboard to their efforts to shut down Planned Parenthoods all over the country. They approach it from multiple angles, from social media, to Carly Fiorini, to state and federal Pols trying to defund PP clinics, to Repub House Reps starting another investigative committee, etc. Everything about this is dishonest but Repubs have embraced it.

    Repubs/Conservs (your choice) have their endless Benghazi Investigations wherein the make baseless accusations, leak selectively to the press in order to create fraudulent impressions about what people actually said, etc, etc.

    Repubs/Conservatives have embraced FOX "News" which by all objective evaluations literally pumps misinformation into the airwaves 24/7 -- to the tune of about 80% of their content.

    Repubs/Conservatives have consistently misrepresented the ACA from the beginning, in terms of what it does/doesn't do, and what effects it has had/not had.

    Repubs/Conservatives have asserted, ad nauseum, that Voter Fraud is a terrible problem and on that basis have introduced voter-repression measures of multiple kinds all over the country even though studies and investigations have shown cases of Voter Fraud are so few as to be exceedingly negligible, whereas Voter ID and other measures most definitely create barriers to voting for poorer people.

    Repubs/Conserves have asserted that people on welfare are so inclined to using drugs that they need to be drug-tested to qualify for benefits, even though those states enacting the measures ended up spending a lot of money in order to catch literally a handful of drug-users. But that doesn't stop Repubs/Conserves from continually insisting - that people on assistance are ipso facto drug abusers.

    Repubs/Conservatives continually assert the Social Security is IN CRISIS in order to justify their attempts to privatize it. They refuse to deal honestly with the potential shortfalls or acknowledge the fairly limited adjustments needed to solve the future shortfall.

    Repubs/Conserves want to privatize the Post Office and to that end continually assert it's losing money because of the restrictions THEY placed on it.

    Repub Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas have committed several acts of conflict-of-interest, refusing to recuse themselves from cases in which they have stakes or have relationships with stakeholders. Scalia, in particular, is notable for the contortions he goes through to justify his decisions, since they so often bear no relationship established law or precedent.

    Repubs/Conservatives embraced the whole ACORN lie and used it to destroy a group guilty of registering minorities to vote.

    Conservative/Repubs continually peddled "Keystone Pipeline Will Create Jobs!" fallacy, refusing to admit it would create short-term construction jobs and long-term, a mere 35-40 jobs. They also refused to admit to the risks inherent in the pipeline, something they routinely do.

    Conservatives/Repubs have prohibited the CDC from tracking gun deaths around the country. Why?

    Conservative/Repubs have consistently supported the NRA's all-guns-everywhere policy and stamped out all efforts to do anything about gun proliferation, using a variety of bogus arguments for their support.

    Repubs/Conservatives have been trying to rewrite history -- changing textbook content around the country to support Fundamentalist Christian ideas as well as "American Exceptionalism".

    Repubs/Conservatives routinely claim America is a "Christian Country" in direct contradiction to the words and intent of the founding fathers.

    Repubs/Conservatives have been at the forefront of demonizing Muslims, Liberals, Minorities, always based on gross oversimplifications when not outright fictions.

    I could spend days at this.

    The bottom line is that Republicans/Conservatives are swimming in dishonesty from top to bottom. Almost nothing they support or defend is honest in it's fundamentals. The long since decided that lying is a really easy way to persuade people who don't pay a lot of attention to politics or public affairs. Therefore they fudge facts, they fudge statistics, they fudge what people actually say/said, they fudge their own statements.

    The problem is that there's been a false narrative going for years, that "both sides do it". It's wrong. The republican party has gone off the rails and over the side and into the abyss.

    You seem to consider yourself a "reasonable Republican" -- unless I'm misreading you. My question for you is "how is that possible?"

    I'm prepared to believe that you, personally, may be a lovely individual who bears no ill-will to his fellow man in general, and is tolerant and etc. But your party is none of those things, and hasn't been for years. I can understand nostalgia for the Republican Party of the past. But not allegiance to the horrible, horrible entity it is now. There is a difference between disagreeing about interpretations and outright dishonesty. Repubs/Conservatives have embraced dishonesty. Maybe not individually, granted. But if you vote Republican you are supporting wholesale, continuous, wide-ranging dishonesty. I sympathize with the pickle decent-people-who-are/were-republicans are in, but there are times when you have to make a choice. How much are you willing to accept before you say "enough"?

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not sure what you're thinking of here. I don't recall that I've seen anyone here refer to any Republicans as terrorists and the like. I haven't been with the site all that long though. Or are you saying that we're not calling out people on other sites?

    There has been several occasions where Weigantians have referred to Republicans as "terrorists".. "Hostage Takers" as well...

    I have seen several people (@John from Cincinatti did not long ago) point out disappointments with Pres. Obama too, though in fairness, that may be because they were prompted.

    About the only one who takes Obama to task on a regular basis without any prompting is CW...

    Anyone else, getting them to admit that Obama scrooed up is worse than pulling teeth...

    I know that if my town suddenly had a large catastrophe that displaced others in my town, I would feel compelled to give them shelter even though they are strangers and so might be nervous at first having them under my roof.

    And what if there is documented factual evidence that indicates the very likelyhood that some of the displaced are cold blooded murderers and terrorists??

    Would you invite them into your home.. With your family??

    That's the question..

    Here's another.. Say Joe Blow gets to decide whether these displaced people get to stay with his neighbors and his neighbors' families.. Some of the displaced may be murderers and rapists etc etc... None will stay with Joe and his family, of course..

    But let's also say that Joe gets a thousand dollars for each displaced person he places in other people's homes...

    The threat is real... It is well documented that the possibility exists that many of the displaced are murderers and rapists..

    But Joe is thinking of all the money he is going to make by placing "refugees" in other people's home...

    Now, tell me..

    What would your opinion of Joe Blow be under these conditions??

    Please don't tell me that you found a broad brush left laying around...

    And THAT is exactly what I am talking about..

    The pure, unadulterated bigotry...

    If Political Party affiliations were race or sexual orientation, what would people who hate based on Party Affiliation be called??

    Food for thought...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    It occurs to me that if I think the sky is falling and am screaming that at the top of my lungs and you think there is no chance of it, then I appear at least paranoid. If you doubt my fear to be genuine and screaming about it only to get attention, then you think I'm fear mongering. And of course, vice versa.

    And what if you are not screaming from the top of your lungs just to get attention??

    What if you have a financial stake or other kind of stake involved??

    Then the "fear mongering" takes on a whole new meaning..

    It's THAT stake that is my main point..

    Weigantians accuse Republicans of fear mongering to further their partisan agenda..

    It's a heinous crime...

    But what of the Left's fear mongering to push THEIR agenda??

    Is that not the exact same "crime"???

    Of course it is...

    But try telling that to people obsessed with Party loyalty...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    "If you like your health care plan, you can KEEP your health care plan."
    -President Barack Obama

    "I welcome the debate on domestic surveillance"
    -President Barack Obama

    "When we left the White House, we were dead broke."
    -Hillary Clinton

    I could spend days at this.

    So could I..

    That's the point that you ALWAYS miss...

    Democrats are no better than Republicans...

    You seem to consider yourself a "reasonable Republican" -- unless I'm misreading you. My question for you is "how is that possible?"

    Whoaa!?? Did I miss something??

    "WHOAA!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!!!"
    -Ralph Macchio, MY COUSIN VINNY

    :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    He doesn't seem to grasp the idea that one can approve of 75% of what a Pol does and disapprove of 25%, and live with it. It's gotta be 100% or 0, which is one of the reasons Conservatives lie so much. They can't allow for any nuance at all, so when their folks blow it they just pretend something else happened and change the subject.

    Not at all..

    But if you bitch and moan that Republicans lie, but you ignore when your guy lies his ass off..

    That's hypocrisy...

    Textbook definition...

    THAT's my point..

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Please don't tell me that you found a broad brush left laying around...

    And THAT is exactly what I am talking about..

    Broad brush strokes are the norm around here..

    But it's only a "problem" when they are applied to the Democrat Party.. :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one here thinks Obama is perfect but Michale continually insists that we do.

    Fine.. Find me an unprompted comment from you that slams or attacks Obama for something he did or didn't do unrelated to Republicans or politics..

    Hell, I'll make it even easier for you.. Find me an unprompted comment from *ANYONE* (sans myself or CW) that slams or attacks Obama for something he did/didn't do that is unrelated to Republicans or politics..

    A Michale-Free day says you can't....

    When you can't, then you concede that ya'all think Obama is perfect and has done nothing wrong and everything right..

    Do we have a wager??

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fine.. Find me an unprompted comment from you that slams or attacks Obama for something he did or didn't do unrelated to Republicans or politics..

    Hell, I'll make it even easier for you.. Find me an unprompted comment from *ANYONE* (sans myself or CW) that slams or attacks Obama for something he did/didn't do that is unrelated to Republicans or politics..

    In other words, find me a comment from you or ANYONE that attacks Obama in the same manner and with the same passion as ya'all attack Republicans..

    Good luck.... :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Stop using "ya'all"(sic) when you know damn well that it isn't applicable.

    Instead, name the people here you are referring to.

  51. [51] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Yinz are all the same.

  52. [52] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#42]

    You seem to consider yourself a "reasonable Republican" -- unless I'm misreading you.

    For the sake of this discussion, let's ignore what my personal political leaning might be; the point I intended was meant to be general. To help you see that, you might re-read my comments with any number of political assumptions as you do the first time.

    The bottom line is that Republicans/Conservatives are swimming in dishonesty from top to bottom. Almost nothing they support or defend is honest in it's fundamentals.

    I understand your point about false equivalency. And I acknowledge the specific cases you list. Let's go a bit further and even put some metrics about truthfulness on the table.

    Politifact of course judges the truth of various political figures and, as of today, these are summary results for the major congressional and presidential leaders and candidates. Say what you will, but Republicans sometimes tell the truth and Democrats sometimes lie.

    To your point, the present national Republican leadership and candidates do seem to lie more (far more?) often than those of the Democrats. In fact, remove Messrs. Trump, Carson, and Cruz from the results and there still remains a reasonably significant disparity between Democrats' and Republicans' truth-telling.

    There are a few methodological issues though with this. First, Politifact began publishing right around Pres. Obama's first election to the presidency, so statistics before his term are minimal. Second, Politifact chooses the subjects and frequency of reviews. For instance, Obama's statements are reviewed an order of magnitude more than anyone else. A skeptic could reasonably raise a question as to whether Politifact might cherry pick (I don't think they do, but it's a reasonable question). And of course, one might dispute Politifact's editorial judgments. Finally, I picked the current top five Republican presidential front runners, so am ignoring other candidates that might have other statistics. So, this isn't a perfect metric, but does allow us to speak from data rather than
    hyperbole or partisanship.

    This data also ignores non-national leadership, governors, state legislators, and county and municipalities -- most which, if not all, have Democratic and Republican parties.

    Finally, we all know (or I hope do) people who identify with one party or another. I'll bet we wouldn't consider all of the Republicans we know personally "liars."

    When you say "republicans lie", one could infer that you mean "all republicans always lie". You've made a generality, once that is easy to assumes applies to the specific. By the metrics above, you're wrong. You could say though that "nationally, Republican leaders lie more than their Democratic counterparts."

    But, Paula, enough about debating the facts, whether my source or yours or anyone else's.

    Here's the real fundamental problem of saying "Conservatives lie": once you do, discussion ends.

    Men are pigs. Women are emotional. Whites are racist. Conservatives are liars. Progressives are wimps. Police are abusive. Whatever the blanket statement on a group, you're wrong, out of line, and have become part of the reason it is difficult to have a civil conversation with people with whom one might disagree with.

    If I am a Republican, what incentive would I have to listen to you? You'd think I lie anyway. What incentive would I have to genuinely share my point of view so that you could either educate me, appreciate the lens through which I view the world, to allow yourself to persuaded, or to collaborate on a compromise solution even when we passionately hold different perspectives? Why post anything if you don't hope to convince someone who might not already see your point of view, to cheerlead? And if you are posting to convince, calling your debate opposition a liar is usually a very persuasive technique.

    @John From Censornati and @Elizabeth Miller have rightly called out @Michale for the "ya'all" and "everyone". His broad brushes are not helping either.

    So call out each lie by a Republican. Be like CW, and call out the disappointments among Democrats. Do so relentlessly and hold individuals accountable. But until regular people, like you and me, stop the political tribalism, we can't expect it to change.

    Of course, if you think I'm a Republican and that Republicans lie, well, then, I guess this wasn't worth writing.

  53. [53] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Elizabeth Miller

    +1

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, I use the term "ya'all" to specifically avoid naming names..

    Those who it applies to know who they are...

    Those who it doesn't apply to don't need to worry about it.. :D

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale (48):

    Fine.. Find me an unprompted comment from you that slams or attacks Obama for something he did or didn't do unrelated to Republicans or politics..

    Why? What do you mean? I don't care about Obama in any other context. I don't know him personally so, outside of his activities as President, nothing else matters to me. Why would I want to criticize him for something unrelated to politics? (Repubs are part of politic.)

  56. [56] 
    Paula wrote:

    And here's an article worth reading about how the Obama administration is helping homeless vets, contrary to the stupid memes I see popping up on FB all the time.

    http://mic.com/articles/128837/in-4-years-obama-cut-the-number-of-homeless-veterans-on-the-streets-by-50-here-s-how#.zSBq1mjai

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why? What do you mean? I don't care about Obama in any other context. I don't know him personally so, outside of his activities as President, nothing else matters to me. Why would I want to criticize him for something unrelated to politics?

    A president does a LOT of actions that have nothing to do with politics...

    Find me one that Obama did that you attacked him for..

    Betcha can't.. :D

    Because, in your eyes, Obama is perfect and can do no wrong.. All because he has a '-D' after his name...

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale: (56):

    Um, no. I don't have to criticize the President for anything outside of the doing of his job. I don't have to meet one of your arbitrary edicts. All you've proven, once again, is that you can't sustain an argument. You just move the goalpost or change the subject -- suddenly now I'm "guilty" of thinking Obama is perfect because I limit my criticisms to his actions as President. You have again shown you can't evaluate politicians without using an "all or nothing" standard.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Um, no. I don't have to criticize the President for anything outside of the doing of his job.

    You DO realize that a LOT of Obama's job has nothing to do with politics, right??

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Paula wrote:

    I said my focus is on Obama's activities as President. You put up a silly thing about me not offering criticisms of the Pres for things outside of politics or republicans and I said I don't have to and have no interest in Obama beyond his activities as President.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    I said my focus is on Obama's activities as President.

    And I said that a LOT of Obama's job.. a LOT of his activities have NOTHING to do with politics...

    Apparently, you don't know this..

    Which explains quite a lot....

    If yer a hammer, everything looks like a nail...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Paula wrote:

    Go ahead and enlighten me.

  63. [63] 
    jhentai wrote:

    by what right do you bomb syria? you don't even have an (bullshit) u.n. resolution!

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is that a trick question, jhentai?

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    What do you need enlightenment on??

    That much of the President's job has NOTHING to do with politics??

    Just answer one simple question..

    Is there ANYTHING that you disagree with Obama on??

    For example, do you support Obama's domestic surveillance programs??

    Do you support Obama's drone attacks against terrorists that result in thousands of deaths of innocents??

    It's not brain surgery...

    A simple YES or NO is all that is required...

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    by what right do you bomb syria? you don't even have an (bullshit) u.n. resolution!

    So?? The UN is WORSE than useless.. It's THE most corrupt organization on the face of the planet.

    And THAT says a lot..

    As to what right??

    Assad used CWMDs against his own people...

    That gives us all the authority we need..

    Like it or not, as the planet's remaining Superpower, we are the world's police force...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Hillary continuing to support the regime change war in Syria is just more right wing neolibcon interventionism.

    There is no way to defeat ISIS while continuing the regime change effort... including an escalation to outright invasion which would simply have all sides attacking us instead.

    Her tough talking on ISIS is utter nonsense and a distraction from the failed policies she supported that created the mess.

    Voters deserve to know that both parties are supportive of the policies that have failed.
    We need to stop pretending that a viable difference exists among the leading candidates.

    Neoliberal or neocon... failure... misery... death... American values and dollars flushed down the toilet.

    A

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