The Politics of The Moment

As Atrios remarked a week or so ago, for candidates who hold office now, the best way to demonstrate leadership is to LEAD in the office they hold now. On Iraq, FISA, Mukasey and other issues, one candidate has taken the lead consistently - Chris Dodd. The frontrunners who sit in the Senate, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have been incredibly cautious, and sometimes counterproductive (remember Obama on playing chicken with the troops on Iraq). Today, Obama pretends he has been presenting bold leadership, when his has been a crass, empty and conventional campaign. But he thinks we have not noticed:

Much has been said about the exchanges between Senator Clinton and myself this week. Now, understand that Hillary Clinton is a colleague and a friend. She’s also a skilled politician, and she’s run what Washington would call a “textbook” campaign. But the problem is the textbook itself. It’s a textbook that’s all about winning elections, but says nothing about how to bring the country together to solve problems. As we saw in the debate last week, it encourages vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment, instead of clear, consistent principles about how you would lead America. . . .

Who is Obama kidding here? We have seen your performance in the Senate, Senator Obama. To call it vague and calculating is an understatement.


Want to demonstrate leadership? LEAD on something. ANYTHING. In the Senate. NOW. I will not hold my breath.

Obama's leadership is all directed to the politics of HIS moment. It is focused on attacking Hillary Clinton. How about attacking the problems of the country TODAY? In the Senate. Need an example? The Senior Senator from Conecticut, Chris Dodd, is showing how it is done.

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    If this is correct, you have (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:03:51 PM EST
    been holding out on us regarding Dodd's leadership:

    One of the things that was most difficult for me to witness here was the spectacle a few weeks ago when Sen. Chris Dodd stated that he would filibuster any legislation which sought to amend FISA while granting immunity for past crimes to telecom companies.  It wasn't anything against Sen. Dodd's actions (indeed, Sen. Dodd has garnered my primary vote due to his strong advocacy for marijuana decriminalization during the last debate), but rather the numerous diaries and posts praising Sen. Dodd for his "leadership".

    Jay Elias, Docudharma; emphasis supplied.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:07:47 PM EST
    I do not uderstad your point or Jay's for that matter.

    Snarking, of course. If Dodd (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:12:21 PM EST
    is touting legalization of MJ, wouldn't you expect the netroorts, if the netroots is aware of Dodd's leadership on this issue, to support Dodd?  Doesn't matter to me, but many on TalkLeft, as an example, strongly support legalization.  

    Oh the decrim thing (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    It is not a big issue for me.

    It is SUPPOSED to be for a lot of folks.

    But I have learned this year that substance is pretty unimportant to the Netroots.


    Your last sentence rings true, but how (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:06:08 PM EST
    discouraging.  Last week I read an op ed in the Int. Herald Tribune's El Pais English language insert.  Writer called the current majority to taks, not for its newly-announced position on some issue I've since forgotten; no, the writer scolded the party for finally getting on board just before an election.  Most refreshing.

    I've come over the the Dodd side (none / 0) (#5)
    by DA in LA on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:44:02 PM EST
    the past couple of weeks.

    Obama, I'd like to introduce you to the pot.  Pot, meet Obama.

    Ouch. Racially charged humor. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 01:58:46 PM EST
    Wha? (none / 0) (#7)
    by DA in LA on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:06:01 PM EST
    It's just a pot meet kettle joke.  Let's not go digging.

    check out this cartoon, (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:10:08 PM EST
    especially the tiny print in the lower right corner:  CARTOON

    Ha. Yes, I know you are an on-strikec (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:06:53 PM EST
    comedy writer.  

    Must be showing my age (none / 0) (#22)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 06:22:22 PM EST
    I was thinking it was some sort of hippie humor given the decrim discussion...

    Obama and our country's salvation (none / 0) (#8)
    by Aaron on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:06:04 PM EST
    Here is an excellent article by Andrew Sullivan, which offers hope for a future in which the United States of America may once again be United.  

    It highlights why some of us on the left and right, Democrat and Republican, believe that Barack Obama and his candidacy for the president, offer an opportunity to put this protracted and bitterly destructive culture war behind us, and move this country towards a fresh new dawn in the 21st-century.  

    It's all here, race, religion and our salvation as a nation

    I urge everyone to read it.  

    Goodbye to All That

    Sully (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 02:13:38 PM EST

    Pick better advocates for your guy.


    Afraid to read it? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Aaron on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 03:04:22 PM EST
    Why doesn't that surprised me Armando.

    But I suppose even if you did read this piece, you probably wouldn't comprehend it.

    Nevertheless I challenge you and anyone else on this site who has the minerals to debate this article with me, any time anywhere.

    So put up or shut up.

    Any of you lawyers want a trouncing, bring it on, and we'll let the jury decide.


    Afraid to read it? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 03:10:33 PM EST
    What are you? 5?

    I rip Sully with regularity.

    Why on Earth would I be afraide to read it.

    I can tell you that Sully is someone I have NO respect for whatsoever.

    That is my point.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#15)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 03:27:49 PM EST
    People should develop the ability to resist quoting stopped watches as defense of a point.

    Y'know (none / 0) (#18)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 04:25:37 PM EST
    if he would actually do any of that stuff he's always talking about he would have something real to offer. He's like one of those Dem consultants always talking about "what Democrats should do." He has a platform on which to be walking the walk right now and he's not using it. He's playing the "score cheap political points by attacking your rivals" game instead of leading now on the life and death issues the country needs leadership on.

    It's a funny thing about leadership - talking about it is ridiculous. You do what you believe in, if you have the courage, and if people find it a worthwhile path you're breaking, they follow. Obama talks a good game - it sounds wonderful what he paints, some of it, and I'm sure he believes it - but his lack of principled action that might put himself and his personal prospects at risk leaves me utterly cold. All he's doing is playing politics, just with a newfangled coat of paint.

    I was a strong supporter of his at the start of his campaign. No one could be more disappointed in how he's turned out than me. What's lost me has been his combination of lack of action and then actions that advance his own interests at the expense of his party and now even the country. The long campaign season is a terrible pressure cooker, but it does in its own perverse way draw out the true outlines of character of the candidates, if you care to look at them without American Idol-like fan blinkers on.

    In another time maybe what he offers is what we'll need. As things stand right now, he'll be ground up by the right-wing machine before he knows what's hit him, and he'll give up progressive goals for the sake of bipartisanship with monsters who want nothing better than to destroy everything "liberals" like him supposedly stand for.


    sully (none / 0) (#19)
    by RalphB on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 04:26:17 PM EST
    "our salvation as a nation"?   get on your meds please before you hurt yourself or someone else.

    And BTW Sully's an idiot (none / 0) (#20)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 04:28:06 PM EST
    Blaming the extreme partisanship in the current political culture on the Boomers? Who is he trying to kid? It's the movement conservatives who planned and advanced it at every turn. Years into suffering its onslaught, Dems still seem to lack a taste for that blood sport. The polarization is Dems' fault equally for not giving in as abjectly as they should have to Bush's dictatorial wishes? Get out.

    Obama is about ending the war among boomers?! (none / 0) (#23)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 06:41:28 PM EST
    A perfect image of a priest
    Between the windows of the sea
    Was that some kind of joke?

    Obama is about ending the war among boomers regarding Vietnam and the counter-culture?

    That's the raison d'être of his candidacy?

    Jesus H. Christ on a crutch! The problem isn't hippies v. straights or reliving Vietnam. Those are just symptoms. The problem is movement conservatism and its inherent inconsistencies, its governing incompetence, its greed.

    Sully apparently got back on the bus Someone tell him to avoid the brown acid...


    Sadly (none / 0) (#34)
    by Aaron on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 02:53:20 PM EST
    There doesn't seem to be much reading, or reading comprehension happening here.

    Much as I'm impressed by liberals who are so progressive in their thinking that they adopt the tactics of the Bush administration and attack the messenger, I think you fail, just as George W. Bush so often does, to invalidate the the deeper truths being expressed in this piece.  

    Whether or not Andrew Sullivan has any credibility is not the issue at hand, the credibility of this piece, whenever his motivations are, is undeniable in my evaluation, an evaluation not hobbled by partisanship I might add.  I have no problem seeing the flaws of Obama, but pointing them out does not do anything to diminish the tragic flaws I see in Hillary Clinton.  It seems that many of you have made your choice to support Hillary Clinton, based perhaps solely on fear, and I think this is a great victory for conservatism and the Republican agenda.  They want you to make your decisions based on fear, for whenever you do, they gain a little more ground.

    Once again I urge everyone who just skimmed through this article apparently, to go back and read it carefully, and actually think about the issues being addressed.  Specifically those which pertain to Hillary Clinton, and her view of liberalism, which as Sullivan points out is more of a moderate conservative view then anything approaching genuine liberalism.  One of the most salient questions is, does she herself believe in liberalism any more, and will her governance be one of 51%, while the Republican minority agenda continues to advance in this country under her presidency, just the way it advanced under her husband's presidency, if anyone still recalls.

    Not much point in putting a closet liberal in the White House, when all she's going to do is pretend to be a moderate and give away this country a piece at a time, because she has lost faith with, and in her own values.

    Obama on the other hand is not hobbled and weighed down by the enormous weight of baggage which the Clintons drag with them everywhere they go.  He at least has the opportunity to take this country in new directions, while Hillary Clinton will do nothing more than drag us back to the 1990s so we can relive, what was ultimately a political failure once again, failure being defined as the Republicans retaking the House and the Senate over the next eight years, and regaining the White House in 2017.  Thus the cycle will continue endlessly at the expense of the American people and at the expense of our nation, as we watch as our international capital and status as a world leader slips away quietly into the night.

    Better think hard about this one people, activate those areas of your brain which have lain dormant for so long, areas that the Conservatives and the Republicans have a vested interest in keeping dormant, and get back to me when you remember who you are, or at least who you should be.

    I submit that if you hold to your narrowly defined vision, a vision which has been defined for you by the Republican conservative agenda, then liberals and liberalism is surely lost in America.


    Noooo (none / 0) (#35)
    by Alien Abductee on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 03:40:18 PM EST
    It seems that many of you have made your choice to support Hillary Clinton

    In fact, I'm fairly equally appalled by all of them. Hillary is my fifth or fourth favored candidate, as I see her as basically a Republican, though a throwback, an old-style Goldwater-type Republican as opposed to an insane neocon/movement conservative. Not someone I will happily vote for if she's the Dem candidate. I support Kucinich's stands on a large number of issues but have zero confidence that he'd be a person capable of delivering on them. I suppose you could say I support Edwards, but it's purely by process of elimination and is mighty marginal as support. I agree with his domestic economic message in particular, but again simply don't have much confidence in either his trustworthiness or his ability to act on what he says. I'm an equal opportunity cynic at this point, and it's still early in the campaign!

    In fact I don't think you comprehended my criticism at all. My criticism of Obama is not to do with his liberalism, it's to do with his competence as a politician. I think that for all his good intentions he might well end up doing more damage to progressive interests than the highly competent Goldwater Girl. She at least knows how to fight back against the attack-creatures of the Right, even if she'll only fight them to her own right-of-center line in the sand, while he'll end up giving away the store in order to heal the divisions. Maybe he'll smarten up with experience, or maybe it's just who he is, I don't know, but I think his approach now makes him even more dangerous than she is.

    It comes down to pragmatism, and choosing the least bad - each in their different ways - of the bad options being offered us in the candidates. However, I'll be deliriously happy to be wrong if Obama somehow manages to navigate his way to the White House and ushers in a renewal of liberal culture and governance in America...


    Response, Choices (none / 0) (#37)
    by Aaron on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:47:15 PM EST
    " I think that for all his good intentions he might well end up doing more damage to progressive interests than the highly competent Goldwater Girl."

    I appreciate your concern for progressive interests, I share them.  But I must put the interests of the United States ahead of all other considerations, including progressive interests, as well as my own personal interests, the interests of my party, virtually everything.  I happen to think that most progressive interests are in the interests of the United States, but many of them, like doing away with nuclear weapons at this point in history, a position which Obama supports, are not in the best interests of the United States.  But I appreciate the fact that he is willing to discuss the issue, unlike most of the other candidates.  At the moment I have to put the stabilization of our country politically and economically at the head of the list, and I think Obama holds the best hope for this.

    "It comes down to pragmatism, and choosing the least bad - each in their different ways - of the bad options being offered us in the candidates."

    I don't agree with this either, I don't see Obama as a bad choice, nor do I see Chris Dodd or even Hillary Clinton as a bad choice, I think we have a lot of good choices here, but to my way of thinking the Obama choice is the best compromise.


    Do you concur with Sully? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 05:17:29 PM EST
    Obama's candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America--finally--past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly--and uncomfortably--at you.

    At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war--not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a mo mentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade--but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war--and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama--and Obama alone--offers the possibility of a truce.

    Perhaps overstated, but generally I agree (none / 0) (#38)
    by Aaron on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:42:49 AM EST
    He may not be the only candidate that offers a way out of what amounts to a political stalemate that is badly damaging this country, but to me he seems the best choice.  Liberals and conservatives in this context are like two opponents who have managed to simultaneously corner each other, though I would give the advantage to the conservatives, because they have ever so subtly managed to do away with much of the left agenda, by pushing their arguments further and further to the right, while the Liberals have given up ground until they've been reduced to being moderates, with the harder leftist agenda becoming badly marginalized.  But conservatives had no choice but to do this, because in this fight time is never on their side, history has shown they're going to lose eventually.  All they can really do is stave off their inevitable defeat is delay progress for a generation may be two at most, but with each new generation that arises, their grip is loosened, until inevitably they are enveloped by progress and time.

    In this war, in one sense, the left is losing because they've continually allow themselves to be defined by the right, and our political candidates are only responding to the ground they find themselves on, the ground that has been left to them.  I think that both Obama and Hillary are far more progressive than they're willing to reveal as a direct result of the current political atmosphere.  But in Hillary's case, the belief that is necessary for progress has to some great degree been lost.  She doesn't believe anymore, it's just not in her, she may have taken us as far she can, at her time is past.  

    Obama on the other hand is something of a new animal, someone not trapped by the old definitions, he sees a way forward that is not a choice between a number of bad options, and more of a recreation than a reframing of the progressive agenda, and I think that's what gives him the advantage, his ability to throw off those old definitions.  It is an ability to create something new, as opposed to remanufacturing and repackaging the old. Though some of his positions may seem more to the right, and perhaps even naïve, I think these are the things that give him strength, and why so many young people are attracted to him, we don't want to be trapped in the past.  And no offense to the older folks, but people who are in their 50s and 60s are pretty well-established, and find it much more difficult to strike out and break new ground, and I think that's what Obama offers, the ability to lead us down a new path, and I think that's what this country desperately needs.

    Hey, I'm a dreamer, 70% right brain, big picture orientated.  I'm not the kind of person you want doing your taxes or correcting your spelling, but when it comes to envisioning the future and seeing a bit farther ahead than others, well us dreamers have a bit of an advantage.

    For the record, I don't think much of Andrew Sullivan or his ideas, and I disagree with some of his points in this piece, but for the most part he's nailed it on this one, and I'm willing to give credit where credit is due. But more importantly I want what's best for my country, because ultimately that will turn out to be what's best for me and my family, and the future of my child.  True it takes a measure of faith, I know that's dirty word to some, but I found that oftentimes when everything else has failed, Faith gets you through. And I think that being a progressive, by definition, take some faith, faith in humanity.

    I suspect Hillary will get the nomination and become president, and some will say that is her due, she's paid her dues, but I'm much more concerned with what this country is due, and the dues we've paid.  I certainly don't want Hillary to become too comfortable in her position as the front runner, and I certainly do not want her to forget who she works for.  And I most definitely want her to choose Obama as a running mate, not only will this consolidate her win in the presidential race, but because it speaks to the future, and in that future I see Barack Obama leading this country into a new period of prosperity and peace.  It seems unlikely that this will happen in 2009, and I imagine that the next president is going to have some very hard decisions to make, and there are hard times for this country ahead that will require some heavy lifting on the part of our next leader, but somewhere along that path I see progressive beliefs and America triumphant and leading the way to a better brighter future for everyone once again. It's inevitable.

    Call me a dreamer I don't mind.  :-)


    You do a better job than Sully (none / 0) (#39)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:33:38 AM EST
    However, in the end,  the fight is always about economics.

    Sully's position that this is a fight between Boomers over Vietnam and the 60's is nonsense.  Its a fight over return to Guilded age politics and policies versus the reforms of the New Deal. Vietnam and the 60's is a side show and by accepting that premise, you lose.

    I don't doubt that Obama is a progressive and will vote for him, should he win the nomination. I lean, however, towards Edwards.

    I've concluded it matters little which of the top 3 get the presidency. Its much more important to increase the overall numbers of Democrats in Congress and in the state houses to claim a referendum repudiating the conservative movement and its corrosive effect on government in general. Those who dislike government and  don't believe it can do anything right, tend to prove their thesis by not governing very well. Dubya is the worst, but Bush and Reagan are not far behind.

    Increasing Democrats in Congress, elect any Democrat President, marginalizing the Movement Conservatives and claiming a mandate is the first step. Then those who claim to be Democrats and vote like Republicans (e.g. my Senator, Bill Nelson) can be safely challenged and removed. The result will be a shifting back to the center and then to the left. It will take 3 or 4 elections to accomplish.  


    Bill Nelson Florida politics (none / 0) (#40)
    by Aaron on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:55:22 AM EST
    As a longtime resident of Florida I'm familiar with Bill Nelson, I voted for him, and like him. Not many other states can boast an astronaut for a senator. Unfortunately southern Democrats often act like Republicans, out of necessity, it often being a matter of political survival especially in places like the capital in Tallahassee.  It is in the words of Hunter S. Thompson, an ugly brutish place, populated by knaves and brigands, hardly fit for man or beast.

    Alas I no longer live in Florida, and rather miss the politics, wait what am I saying, on second thought I'm relieved to have the burden of Florida politics lifted from me.  I suppose I'm ambivalent.  Either way its nice to know that this site is visited by someone from my home state.  Please let us know if anything exciting happens down there. And say hi to the Atlantic Ocean for me, we were old friends.  :-)


    I liked Nelson better as insurance commissioner. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:41:11 AM EST
    You and BTD have Florida ties. Interesting. I am in Mouth of the Rat, Florida and am also acquainted with the Atlantic since I have some of the best beaches anywhere in Florida.

    I doubt we will ever see leadership from Obama (none / 0) (#16)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 03:35:22 PM EST
    I think Obama is wearing a skin. For example, it is suspicious to me how someone from a non-religious background becomes, very conveniently for a political career, outspokenly Christian, and then develops his career upon spoken platitudes designed to massage the shoulders of people who are worried about the conflicts between their religion and their civic life. And he steers himself straight towards the White House. It's like a formula from the movies.

    One of Obama's NH campaign (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 04:24:59 PM EST
    rallies was on C-Span 2 a couple weeks ago.  The religious fervor of the crowd seemed to center on global warming.  

    Obama's religion (none / 0) (#21)
    by racheljl on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 05:59:30 PM EST
    He was from a non-Christian background but apparantly became Christian in the late 80s or earlier.  He describes this at length in his first book published in 1994. I'm disappointed in him but I don't think he can be accused of adopting Christianity as a last minute convenience.

    Why didn't Dodd vote against the last Iraq War (none / 0) (#24)
    by robrecht on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 07:06:27 PM EST

    Huh? (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 07:50:16 PM EST
    He did.

    Sorry ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by robrecht on Sat Nov 03, 2007 at 09:11:23 PM EST
    Only three senators voted against:
    Byrd (D-WV), Nay
    Coburn (R-OK), Nay
    Feingold (D-WI), Nay

    Our glorious presidential candidates couldn't be bothered:
    Biden (D-DE), Not Voting
    Clinton (D-NY), Not Voting
    Dodd (D-CT), Not Voting
    McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
    Obama (D-IL), Not Voting


    What on earth are you talking about? (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:16:11 AM EST
    this is the last supplemental.

    NAYs ---14
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Perhaps you missed the Showdown in September? (none / 0) (#28)
    by robrecht on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 03:13:41 AM EST
    Read your own link:

    "Title:  Making emergency supplemental appropriations and additional supplemental appropriations for agricultural and other emergency assistance for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes."

    Now, take a look at the most recent supplemental here:

    "Measure Number:  H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008)
    Measure Title:  To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes."

    That's not an "Iraq Supplemental," (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:17:00 AM EST
    it's a conventional appropriations bill. Rather dishonest of you, especially considering that fighting the war relies on supplemental.

    Sorry, if I used the wrong word ... (none / 0) (#30)
    by robrecht on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:40:38 AM EST
    That doesn't make me dishonest!  The fact remains that this still includes quite a bit of money specifically for the war in Iraq.  My question still stands if anyone cares to answer.

    You need to better understand the process (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:39:12 AM EST
    authorization is not appropriation.

    The battle will be on the appropriation, not the authorization.

    You will notice that few of the no funding folks picked this line in the sand.

    I do grant that you were not dishonest, you simply did not understand the process.


    I'm always willing to learn more about the process (none / 0) (#33)
    by robrecht on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:20:28 AM EST
    Wasn't September supposed to be showdown?  I'm not so sure there's any line in the sand.  That would take leadership.

    Surely you would not suggest that Dodd should have voted for additional funding of the Iraq war in this appropriations bill.

    It seems to me the leadership breakdown is usually between words and deeds, or difficult votes, if you will, to back up the words.

    Listen to Dodd's own words that day:

    "I am deeply disappointed in the Defense Authorization Act that was passed by the Senate tonight.  Not only does it lack provisions to end this disastrous war, but it fails to provide even the simplest benefit to the families of our returning wounded warriors.  The least we could have done ...  While I am pleased that the Senate has finally acted to increase funding for some critical national defense initiatives, such as the $470 million provided for the production of an additional submarine per year, I cannot applaud the Senate for passing yet another piece of legislation that takes no steps to end this war and bring our troops home."

    I can applaud his words, and understand his unwillingness to vote against the appropriation, but it's not quite the level of leadership that some of us have been looking for to end this war.


    Stii no defenders of Dodd's leadership (none / 0) (#42)
    by robrecht on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:11:44 PM EST
    on this point?  Was he right to abstain?  Should he have voted for or against the appropriations?

    Ok, not dishonest (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:05:22 AM EST
    just uninformed.