"Idiot Liberals": A Defense of Congressman Obey

Congressman David Obey is a terrific, hardworking, committed Congressman who wants to end the Iraq Debacle. He had a bad moment with some citizens working to end the war.

As one of the "idiot liberals" (actually I am not a liberal at all, I'm an anti-Debacle Centrist) Obey references, I want to take a moment to defend Congressman Obey. Was he uncivil? Of course. Was he inappropriate?" Perhaps. But do you think Obey does not care? Or does not want to end the Debacle? Of course he does.

On the merits of the approaches for ending the Iraq, Obey made a significant contribution to the House a proposal that improves the Dems' position, this proposal does not come in a vacuum and resulted in no small measure as a result of pressure from the Out of
Iraq Caucus
, and the "Idiot Liberals."

One thing Obey does say is he sees his proposal as ending the war. Indeed it would if Dems stay strong a month before an election (the Dem proposal is for full withdrawal by October 2008) in the face of a President yelling "Dems are abandoning the troops!" is the Congress likely to not approve one more supplemental? I doubt it.

I appreciate Obey's efforts, but his efforts have not achieved what needs to be achieved imo. Some of us idiot liberals will keep pushing for that. And we will be making Representative Obey's job a little easier as we do it.

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    Stop defending these (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:32:38 AM EST

    Don't end this war by a thousand cuts, END THIS WAR NOW!!

    Stop enabling the enablers. Obey's logic is as twisted as a strand of DNA.

    Stop the war there, so we don't start a war here.

    Twisted logic it may be (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:35:56 AM EST
    But I jumped on him for the wrong reasons...

    I still think (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:51:59 AM EST
    Dennis Kucinich has the best idea.
    Kucinich's bill (H.R. 1234), if passed, would end US military involvement in Iraq within 90 days of passage

    "Not later than the end of the 3-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, all United States Armed Forces serving in Iraq shall be completely withdrawn from Iraq and returned to the United States or redeployed outside of the Middle East."

    His plan also would establish a "Prohibition on Use of Funds To Continue Deployment of Armed Forces in Iraq", except where needed to ensure the security of Iraq and to provide for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Iraq.

    hmmm... interesting... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Noor on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:32:32 AM EST
    I like it, I really do.  But I have to say, I wonder about the logistics of accomplishing a withdrawal in only three months.  Don't get me wrong, I want to see this over immediately, but I also want this done in a manner that is best calculated to minimize further casualties.  Six months may be more realistic.  I say that because it's entirely possible that the Pentagon has not even begun planning for withdrawal.  And given the chaos level in Iraq, they need to develop a realistic and comprehensive plan, and that will take at least a few weeks.

    Sure (4.20 / 5) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:53:15 AM EST
    But I have the best idea THAT WILL WORK . . .



    Only because (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:54:51 AM EST
    more people listen to you than Kucinich, it seems. ;-)

    Big Tent (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:13:50 AM EST
    Kucinich's bill is short, clear, and easy to understand. For some reason I have trouble understanding clearly how your plan works.

    If you and I are riding in an elevator and you have 3 floors to pitch me on your plan... how does it work? (30 second elevator speech)


    Well? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:39:54 AM EST
    ...it's been a little more than 30 seconds. ;-)

    How 'bout this, if I may. (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by retriever on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:16:26 PM EST
    BTD's plan will better work because it requires Congress to do what they are best at...doing nothing.

    Scoop only allows me to rate you once ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:18:55 PM EST
    But that's my plan (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:07:44 PM EST
    Well described.

    I remember you saying that now (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:27:46 PM EST
    in different words. I had forgotten.

    I think it will work too (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:30:53 PM EST
    But not without a cost (and I don't mean $$$):
    Remember, the President and Vice President began the preparations for the invasion of Iraq secretly with at least $2.5 billion illegally taken from other areas. They have promised never to end the war. They have asserted the power of a "unitary executive." They have launched pre-war operations in Iran without any authorization or funding from Congress. They have built permanent bases in Iraq without any approval from Congress, and continued that construction work in violation of a bill passed by Congress forbidding the use of any funding for it.

    So, the question is not just whether Congress can cut off the money, but whether the Bush administration can find enough money in other places illegally to continue a war that has never in any sense been legal. The amount of money we're talking about is enormous, but it is a fraction of the Pentagon's budget, and it seems clear that -- given the kinds of "black budget" moneys floating around in that world -- the war could be continued for some time (long enough at least to gin up a new enemy to scare Congress with); that is, unless the military sides with Congress in this dispute and refuses to pursue the war with misappropriated funds.

    If any of these strategies to end the war come to fruition in Congress, a more likely outcome than an actual end to the war would be a full-scale confrontation with the "commander-in-chief" presidency of George Bush (and the vice-presidency of Dick Cheney), leading to possible impeachment proceedings.

    Read Edger (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:50:49 AM EST
    I think he has the right take on this.

    If you're comment (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:52:39 AM EST
    disappears, please do not think of it as censorship. I'm not sure sure on the P word. Need to ask J.

    dang! does this mean we have to watch our (none / 0) (#47)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:44:05 PM EST
    pottyposts?  oops - gotten into bad habits of late - will take more care here.

    Boil it down (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:00:32 AM EST
    and all they want is "MO MONEY, MO MONEY, MO MONEY!"

    If they want to continue to send gobs of our tax money to support their defense/oil industry friends, who are so "vital" to our economy, then we should defund this mess ourselves. It's been three months and the Kabuki dance goes on. If we wait for congress to "do something", thousands more will die unnecessarily. And don't give me any "government wheels move slowly" crap. They took about 10 minutes to write (but not read) and then pass the Patriot Act.

    Time will tell BTD (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:01:55 AM EST
    I dare say JM will move more quickly than Congress.

    My comments are deleted all the time (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:02:43 AM EST
    It's no big deal. It's not my site.

    yeah (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:30:41 PM EST
    This really can't be easy for Obey.

    Dave's like that. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:47:52 PM EST
    In 2003 I asked him about medical marijuana at the State Dem. Convention. He got kinda hostile, but a week later pushed to get a vote on the Hinchey/Rohrabacher amendment to the Dept. of Justice budget, which sought to cut off funds for raids on patients, and last year gave far the best speech in the debate on the same amendment.

    Maybe he just means (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:13:06 PM EST
    "shut up, I know what I'm doing."

    What A Gard sez (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:54:17 PM EST
    But that's not always true.

    So - trusting Bush with $105B (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by annefrank on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 01:29:39 PM EST
    to make "progress" is the only way to end the war? BAAHAHAHA!
    I'm just an IDIOT LIBERAL! <sigh>

    Yep (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:53:29 PM EST
    Obey's comment seemed to come more (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by retriever on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 03:15:35 PM EST
    out of frustration that arrogance or intolerance. I little brutal honesty is a nice change from the typical mealy mouthed rhetoric we usually get.

    But he's wrong (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:52:54 PM EST
    Those folks are going to help him.

    i called his office this morning (none / 0) (#43)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:19:37 PM EST
    (as one bleeding heart liberal who wanted to apologize to HIM for that encounter) - and his aide said that his response was TOTALLY out of frustration at trying to explain to those two.

    i was so frustrated i was still sputtering on the phone - then laughed and told the aide he must have heard the same from the congressman when he got back to the office - the aide laughed and said "just a bit!"

    obey was polite and gave them quite a bit of time as he was returning to his office, but they showed NO signs of listening to what he said, the woman just kept pushing her own opinion and agenda despite repeatedly being patiently told why that plan would not work.

    i actually am amazed he didn't blow earlier - i did and i was only watching the tape!


    Frustration (none / 0) (#55)
    by Andreas on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 02:14:01 AM EST
    his aide said that his response was TOTALLY out of frustration at trying to explain to those two.

    In fact he reacted like that because he represents a party which supported and supports the criminal war while the majority of the people oppose it.


    Poor conduct. If it's all about votes,... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by cal11 voter on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:03:43 PM EST
    why didn't Dem leaders vent this before.  I see it as a lack of leadership.  That is not to say someone else would be better at the job.

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 04:51:38 PM EST
    But OBey's heart is not in the wrong place, his head is.

    I'd rather have his head (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by pyrrho on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:16:54 PM EST
    my personal take is that the dems have (none / 0) (#45)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:24:37 PM EST
    been less confrontational these first weeks to determine which republicans are fence sitters - which ones can be swayed to vote with the dems.

    if they had gone in gangbusters from the outset, that would have polarized the republicans... as it stands now, they are finding which ones can be pulled out of the herd.

    these things are delicate - they must be done VERY carefully!    


    This just came up on Hardball (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:04:45 PM EST
    The woman in the video was very articulate in the face of Matthew's on-point questions.

     I agree with BTD, though. Pelosi will be able to scare the Blue Dogs into defunding and the President into a compromise by using us as bogeymen.

    I do think that Obey was telling the truth about "here and now," though; there simply aren't 218 votes to defund.

    does anyone else find it funny that she (3.00 / 1) (#41)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:08:40 PM EST
    shows up on hardball?  interviewed by "whiffleball" - the apologist for this administration?

    doesn't that appear that this fool is playing right into the hands of the rightwingers?

    discredit obey and discredit his legislation!

    imho, she is, as i said before, an idiot!


    Matthews is many things (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:18:08 PM EST
    but "apologist for this administration" isn't one of them.

    not recently, but he has been in the past! (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:21:58 PM EST
    his record was more right leaning than left - even though he "professes" to be more left.

    the problem (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by pyrrho on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:16:23 PM EST
    it's not about "wanting to end the war" it's about having definitions of "want" and "end" and "war" that are idiotic.... all while he thinks it's others, stupid pacifist liberals, that are idiots.

    You know what?  When people are WAY AHEAD of you on something it's gross and stupid to call them idiots, he should be wondering why so many idiot liberals opposed this war so early... he should be wondering "what do they know, what do they see?"

    Instead it's, "well, they just hate all wars, crazy liberals".

    This is how these guys think they "do good" and "have good intentions" and get nothing done.

    They full on think their own idiocy is brilliance and the brilliance of others is idiocy.

    Absolutrly correct (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:18:49 PM EST
    But even on his terms, he misses the boat.

    oh, do we ever agree! i have been fighting (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 05:58:41 PM EST
    this battle all day, first at dk and then at afterdowningstreet - and now, i am relieved to find you here saying the same thing!

    i watched that video in its entirety and am amazed that obey was as civil toward the end as he was!  i lost it much earlier!

    ms richards and friends had an agenda and when obey dared to respond with fact and information and respect, they did not return it.  the robotic repetition of the same talking points in light of the cogent explanation and patience obey was offering finally exploded in frustration as he replied "i don't have a magic wand in my pocket!>.. we don't have the votes even for a non-binding resolution!"

    i am relieved to find you, btd, offering sanity and a voice of reason in the kneejerk reactions all over the web today - thank you for this - and i really miss you at dk - a whole lot of us do - voices of reason are hard pressed to find... seems that they are even harder pressed to keep at dk.

    glad to see you here and will be back frequently!

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:57:52 PM EST
    I think OIbey needs to have more discipline, funny from me I  know, but he is a Congressman, I am not.

    did you watch the whole tape? (none / 0) (#54)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:41:27 PM EST
    that incident occurred after the hearing and when he was rushing down the hall.

    frankly, he held it together longer than i did watching it - and you know that i rarely "lose it" - being the careful word(y)smith that i am...

    i lost it MUCH sooner than he did - i was SCREAMING at the monitor - absolutely YELLING "are you STUPID!!!"

    i can't imagine having to deal with a "friendly" and having to deal with republicans and neos all day and having them simply talk AT you instead of talking TO you.  she didn't listen to a thing he said - at least the young man tried to understand.

    and, btd, you NEVER lose YOUR cool!  NEVER!  8^)

    btw, ever thought of running for congress?  heh heh heh


    hey, everybody - you might find THIS (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 08:06:59 PM EST
    very interesting!  check out this site to find out tina richards' REAL agenda!

    funny how the truth always comes out, isn't it!

    my favorite part?  

    Donations are needed so I can stay in
    DC as a Peace lobbyist to congress
    during the occupation project.  
    Please send Checks, Money Orders or
    Tina Richards
    Institute Policy Studies
    1112 16th St. NW, Ste 600
    Washington DC, 20036
    Or by PayPal

    Thanks for stopping by (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:56:43 PM EST
    I jumped on Obey yesterday (3.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:32:03 AM EST
    when I first saw this video. I was wrong to do so. Obey was also wrong to express himself the way he did, I think. He needs to learn to be more careful about knee jerk responses.

    So do I. (he's right - sometimes liberals are idiots - I am one example)

    Obey Statement On Resolution Opposing Iraq War Escalation

    "Mr. Speaker, Four years ago, this Congress voted to authorize the President to engage in a preemptive attack on Iraq, a country that had not attacked the United States. "I supported military action against Afghanistan because they gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and those who attacked us on 9/11. But I opposed the President's unilateral and preemptive attack on Iraq, because I believed that action would destabilize the Middle East, isolate us in world opinion, and weaken our influence in the world.

    "Our opposition was vilified, our patriotism was questioned, and that continues today. We're told that if we oppose the President's intensification of the war, we are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
    "Instead of the President's surge, in my view, we should set a rough target for repositioning our troops out of the area.
    We should participate in regional discussions with all parties including Syria and Iran. We should resume aggressive leadership to resurrect a meaningful Middle East peace process. And Congress should pass legislation prohibiting an attack on Iran without authorization by this Congress.

    "Given the chaos that the Administration's policies have produced, none of these suggestions may work, but all of them would be better than continuing to be stuck in another five-year period in an endless war with endless promises to the American people and with endless failures on the ground."

    Yep (4.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:51:15 AM EST
    And remember Obey has to deal with the Blue Dogs.

    Blue Dogs (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by dkmich on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 02:04:15 PM EST
    Enough to make anybody foam at the mouth.

    i watched the whole youtube video and (none / 0) (#39)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:01:42 PM EST
    "lost it" MUCH earlier than he did - he showed great restraint in suffering fools, imho.  

    i still can't help but wonder what is richards' agenda in all this?  why did she pick obey when he is one of the reps offering legislation to STOP the war?  why not one of the republicans who are actively trying to block this legislation from being enacted?

    WHY DEMS?  with "friends" like richards, the republicans must be ecstatic over the 2008 elections!  all they have to do is sit back and wait and watch.  we are doing all their work for them!



    my question (none / 0) (#26)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 03:18:33 PM EST
     is why we are setting up ambush attacks on our  "friends" when we have too few as it is.

      I really have no problem with what he said or how he said it. Seems perfectly justified to me when confronted with people who refuse to listen to reason and just keep badgering.

    defunding (none / 0) (#46)
    by diogenes on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 06:30:55 PM EST
    If Congress somehow defunds the war BEFORE the elections, then they and the Democratic candidate can take the blame for any fiasco that occurs as a result of American troops pulling out in 2008.
    If Bush stays, I'm sure Hillary or Obama (well, maybe not Hillary) will rapidly pull out in 2009 and take credit or blame for what ensues.

    Diogenes (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 07:04:29 PM EST
    No one can ever tarnish Bush's legacy or fade his glory. He will never be forgotten. History is history, and Bush has ensured his place in it.

    okay... was posting between multiple (none / 0) (#53)
    by edrie on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:38:05 PM EST
    blogs on this today so i wasn't very clear.

    the group he referred to were those who were factually incorrect, misdirected in how they want the war to end, divided into many groups intead of uniting to pressure the legislators and government.

    MY reference to the "idiot liberals" are those who attack democrats as doing nothing without bothering to look at what the dems are DOING in congress right NOW!  within the confines of government, the wheels turn slowly - we cannot simply say "we're leaving" and get out - that is the call of the president, unfortunately, if it is to be "immediate".  for the congress to withdraw the troops, it takes legislation which takes interparty cooperation!  and, as obey said today, even the church amendment took thirty revisions before it passed!  

    we need to realize that we live in a structure of government - and while we knew that this war was wrong - and i was among those marching and calling and trying to prevent it from the outset - we, as single people, do not have the "power" to stop it.  congress is moving as quickly as the body can to legally check bush and stop this - as much as we hate it, it will not happen overnight.  not unless bush orders it - and that isn't going to happen, now, is it.

    we are stuck trying to extricate as legally fast as we can.  what makes it hard is that there are republicans working to block any attempts at every turn.

    IF we had a veto proof majority in the senate and house, we COULD get out "now" - but we don't even have enough consensus to pass a non-binding resolution in the senate and barely in the house - so there will be a slower way - an end run around bush.  obey, pelosi and murtha are working to get that end run to pass with a veto proof majority - that takes compromise.  that is the reality of the situation.

    wishing it different won't make it so.  not that i'm not wishing as fervently as i can!