Dick Durbin's Phony Moralizing

Of course Senator Dick Durbin, a fine man and politician, is doing the work of the Obama campaign when he says:
Iím really troubled by his questioning the sincerity of Barack Obamaís opposition to the war in Iraq . . .
Durbin, a staunch Obama supporter had no qualms apparently when Obama was accusing Clinton and DURBIN (and McCaskill, Nelson et al) of fomenting war with Iran when they voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment:

Barack Obama is the ONLY major candidate for president to oppose both the Iraq War from the very start and the Senate amendment that raises the risk of war with Iran," the front of the Obama mailer stated. The back is printed with the line, "While other Democrats voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, Barack Obama opposed another Bush foreign policy fiasco."
What did Durbin say about that? Nothing of course. This is all politics. More . . . Oh by the way, Obama did not oppose Kyl-Lieberman, he was not even there to debate on it or vote on it. But he felt comfortable accusing Durbin and Clinton and others Dems of fomenting war with Iran. For the record, I believe voting for Kyl-Lieberman was a mistake. I also believe NOt voting against it or being there to debate it, as Obama did, was also a mistake.
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    It certainly was a bad idea (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 04:52:33 PM EST
    Of course both were bad ideas: the NIE was merely confirmation of what Obama and the rest would already have known had they bothered to talk to Scott Ritter or read his book.

    The whole idea (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 11:43:52 AM EST
    that Bill Clinton's criticism was cast as "personal attack" sounds particularly phony to me.

    Completely phony (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    Durbin is working for his candidate.

    Nothing more, nothing less.


    Durbin is positively shocked (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 11:56:04 AM EST
    that politics are being used in this campaign.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 11:59:12 AM EST
    Very good.

    His winnings . . .


    In the end, we'll be the losers (none / 0) (#7)
    by koshembos on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 12:26:30 PM EST
    Mise En AbÓme (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 12:51:49 PM EST
    Sorry I Don't Buy Into Obama's Excuses On Why (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    he didn't vote on Kyl-Lieberman. Think he once again refused to take a stand (i.e. VOTE) because it could come back and haunt him politically. This seems to be a pattern with him that I find less than encouraging.

    His opposition did not involve votes cast on either occasion. And if he were such a strong opponent of the occupation of Iraq, why did he continue to vote for funding it prior to deciding to enter the presidential arena. Where are all the speeches that he made in opposition of staying in Iraq during 2005, 2006? Where are all the quotes from him during all of his media attention in 2005, 2006 where he spoke out on the need to end the occupation?  Sorry if I don't see any real dedication or risk taken to end the occupation once it started.  

    Because they are nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 12:06:19 PM EST
    Obama is full of it on this as on many other things.

    No word on the substance of Durbin's critique? (none / 0) (#8)
    by joejoejoe on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 12:36:52 PM EST
    You fail to address the substance of Durbin's remarks:
    If President Clinton had opposed that war as strongly as Barack Obama at the time, it would have helped a lot of us who had voted against authorizing an invasion.

    Forget Durbin's whining about Bill Clinton being mean to Obama for a second -- is what Durbin is saying about the '02 Iraq War debate true or false?

    How about this (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 01:02:04 PM EST
    If Obama had fought strongly to END the war once he became a Senator, it would have helped the Out OF Iraq Caucus and Russ Feingold and people like that to end it.

    Any word from you about MY critique? Not to date.


    Obama wants to have his cake (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    and eat it too. Signature behavior on his part.

    My critique of your plan is your critique (none / 0) (#16)
    by joejoejoe on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 10:55:11 PM EST
    8/10/07, BTD on 'not funding':
    "my approach is likely a pipe dream"

    I make the same critique that you make - your approach is a pipe dream. Obama's 67 votes was also a pipe dream. Some problems have no solution. There is no game plan to make the Knicks a championship team and there is no strategy to make the current US Senate (or the 108th, or 109th) worth a damn.

    No war was ever defunded by the method you propose or the veto-override method Obama proposed. Both approaches were zillion-to-1 shots. The only precedent for ending an unpopular war is an increasingly restrictive series of checks and limits by Congress (see Vietnam). In hindsight the best chance to limit the damage in Iraq was an all-out push for the Webb approach to limit deployments (12 months in, 12 months out). That would have kept the US presence in Iraq at about 100,000 which is 50% less bad than it's been for the past 6 months. That didn't happen either and IIRC the Webb approach was attacked from the left as well as not strong enough.

    The day AUMF/Iraq passed we were in Iraq for the duration of George W. Bush's presidency. Shame on everyone that voted for it. No op-ed or subsequent leadership will ever erase the stain of that vote. The 107th Congress was one of the most spineless in US history.

    Sen. Byrd on the AUMF/Iraq vote:

    Like a whipped dog, the Senate put its tail between its legs and slunk away into the shadows, slunk away from its responsibility. Congress--and I mean both houses--Congress delegated its constitutional authority to the President and effectively washed its hands of the fate of Iraq. It is a dark and despicable mark on the escutcheon of Congress.

    A whipped dog isn't resolute enough to force a constitutional confrontation with the President over 'not funding' and the Senate that "washed its hands of the fate of Iraq" isn't eager to dirty them again. The only solution is to replace enough Senators and change enough minds that there is an effectively new dynamic in the Senate. We're not there yet and we've never been close in the past 5 years.

    Leaving aside the horrible Republican leadership, Democratic Iraq War opponents could never get traction in the Senate because they were undermined at every turn by Clinton allies like Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, and the DLC crowd who wanted to run in '04 and '06 on the economy and avoid Iraq. Bill Clinton said in his own autobiography that he had to defend George W. Bush from "the left". So in addition to the Republican caucus you had 1/2 the Democratic caucus not wanting to admit a mistake for more than 2 years.

    I don't fault Sen. Obama for not changing the minds of the 109th and 110th Congress. You do fault him for being a variety of things (being naive, timid, a poor tactician) and you have the right to your opinion. But IMHO you can't beat hope INTO a whipped dog like you beat it out of it. A whipped dog stays whipped a long time. I believe Obama quickly realized that fact. Tiny fixes at the margins were possible but that's not enough for the problems we face. So Obama decided to run for President because the issues were too important to only pretend to solve them in the US Senate.

    The Senate is an undemocratic relic (50 seats represent 16% of the population) that's hardly responsive to popular opinion (staggered terms over 6 years). You fault Obama for not "leading now" on Iraq but what did Chris Dodd accomplish on Iraq other than make some noise? I like and respect Sen. Dodd but the unkind words Robert Byrd  has for the 107th Congress apply to Chris Dodd as well. Dodd certainly got wise over time but it did take time. Dodd himself cites the death of one captain in early January '07, a man he had just spoken with in Iraq in Dec. '06, as a catalizing moment for his opposition. Obama called for phased redeployment in November '06. How you can credit Dodd for "leading now" while Obama gets slammed for being absent from the debate I'll never know. Where are Dodd's successes on Iraq? Taken as a whole there's only two Senators that have a better record on Iraq than Obama and that's Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders. If Paul Wellstone were alive it would likely be three. I'm not going to apologize for being enthusiastic about the fourth most progressive Senator in recent Democratic history taking a pragmatic approach to solving the largest problem facing the country - Iraq. Reread all the steps taken to end the Vietnam war. It's not so simple as you say. Your 'not-funding' idea IS a pipe dream. The most difficult aspect of the your plan, resolve enough to carry it out, is the very thing most absent from the current Senate. Wishing it weren't so isn't a good plan. The most aggressive Senate anti-war bill presented still wasn't 'not funding', it was fully funding withdrawal and a deployment of limited purposes. Obama's 67 votes plan was also a pipe dream but he was a vocal supporter of the Webb amendment which was not.  I thought in pushing for 67 votes Obama would get to 60 votes to get cloture on more modest measures like the Webb amendment. I was wrong.

    I've tried to convince you of the merits of Obama's approach, you've rejected  my arguments, I'm OK with it. I'm not going to play ping-pong on Iraq for another year. I have a different view of what pieces of the Iraq War debate are most important. You place more value on different pieces of the puzzle. I've tried to stop arguing with you on Iraq because I don't find it productive to rehash the same points endlessly and I'm sure you feel the same way.

    So be it.


    Note (none / 0) (#17)
    by joejoejoe on Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 12:04:05 AM EST
    I'm omitted a lot of Senators who for withdrawal in 6/06 when talking about Obama's record on Iraq. That was sloppy and wrong. Obama voted against the '06 withdrawal bill. Kudos to the 13 Senators who voted for withdrawal in 6/06.

    Any time a politician (none / 0) (#12)
    by RalphB on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 01:25:28 PM EST
    starts a statement by "I am really troubled", or some variant, you should just ignore it because you know whatever follows is meaningless BS.

    By the way, that goes for any politican.  Another BS tell is the ever popular "I am deeply disappointed".

    Plenty of phony moralizing all over (none / 0) (#13)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 01:32:09 PM EST
    I am having trouble with people claiming the moral high ground for their candidates here regarding the war. You can easily draw a line as to where the candidates have presented themselves regarding the war(s) past and present, and future, with Clinton being closest to supporting war(s), followed by Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich. Clinton and Obama can very easily move away from the war by coming out and announcing they are now absolutely against the war, against a military solution for Iran, etc. Each one can give a detailed plan for getting out, for cleaning up the mess there, for who (if anyone) gets prosecuted for war crimes, etc. We don't have to consult the tea leaves to find any shifts in position.

    Of course, supporters of the various candidates will make statements in support of their own candidates. Is this something new?

    As it stands, it's clear that a Clinton presidency will most likely be closest to our status quo in the Middle East, Obama a little less so, Edwards a little less "status quo" than Obama's.

    With the planned world tour of the old Bush-Clinton pair, it's unlikely that Dubya or any of his merry band are going to be prosecuted under a Hillary Clinton Justice Department.

    Just saying.

    Uh, they are from the same state (none / 0) (#14)
    by DA in LA on Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 02:09:13 PM EST
    End of debate.