Obamamania = Joementum?

I think so.  And I'm disgusted.

Over in the main part of the page, there has been some discussion about some of the interesting "post-partisan" positions Obama and his surrogates and praisers have taken in the last couple days.  The more I hear, the more I smell the stench of Obama's Senate mentor, Joe Lieberman.

And I don't like it.

Paraphrasing what Obama and his defenders/surrogates have said over the last couple days:

1.  I'll select cabinet people from the pool of talents, to get the best (most talented) people.

  1.  I'll likely have Republicans in my cabinet.  I like a couple Republican senators (Lugar, Nelson) for Defense and State.

  2.  I prefer working for civil liberties through the Congress and Executive, rather than the Courts.

  3.  Turn off the TV, do what I tell you is best for your kids.
Taking #1 separately, it implies that the Democratic party does not have enough "Talented" people in it, to fill all the slots in the government.  It also belies a grave naivete - thinking that Republicans are loyal to anything other than the Republican party.

Well, Joe spends no little time telling people (verbally and by his actions) that.  He spends no little time demeaning the Democrats and their talent for governance, and finding Republicans he likes.  

So, now Obama has decided that insulting his fellow Democrats by saying there are not enought talented Democrats to fill the Cabinet.

And, remember, the NSA (listening to you) is actually a part of the Department of ... Defense.  So, we'll keep the biggest lawbreakers of them all during the current Republican administration, under Republican control.

Lots of potential for accountability there, dontcha think?

Taking #2 separately, there are two fundamental difficulties.  

First, removing Nelson and/or Lugar from the Senate will not make any difference in the composition of the Senate.  Both are from solid Republican states (Nebraska and Indiana) and will be replaced with Republicans.  Period.  

Second, by having to go to the Republicans to fill the posts at State and/or Defense, Obama pretty explicitly states not only the lack of "talent" (see #1) in the Democratic party, but also does the party one worse.  He is saying, in so many words, that every time the Republicans argue that Democrats cannot be trusted with defense - they're right.  Because I can't find in the Democratic party someone "talented" enough to run the department.

The history of the past 28 years indicates that since Reagan took office, Republicans have held Defense for all save four years of that time.  Those four years were 1993-1997, during which Les Aspin and William Perry were the Secretaries of Defense.  Aspin, you might remember, was a serious policy expert when in Congress and then got it in the neck for the debacle in Somalia, i.e., one created by the prior Bush administration.  

Perry, well he was an investment banker who was pretty much a caretaker.  On his watch - the Balkan wars got a real rolling start, among other things.  Most of WJC's international defense work that actually worked on problems seems to have happened while former Republican Senator Cohen (who, IIRC, now sits on the board of one of those mercenary companies) was his SecDef.  

And, why did Perry quit at the end of WJC's first term?  Among other reasons, the unremitting partisanship of the Gingrich Republicans.

As to #3 - civil liberties.  

We've seen, and will continue to see, just how assiduously the Congress will protect civil liberties.  This week, I expect, the Dems will fold on the FISA and give Bushie the immunity he wants so badly.

Congress, it needs be remembered, passed that part of FISA which gives a private damages remedy to any person wiretapped not-in-compliance-with-FISA.  I haven't seen anything about anyone cashing any checks.  You gotta be able to get into court and stay there.  As many say correctly:  a right without a remedy isn't much of a right at all.

As to those arguing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did a lot of good - they're right, but they overlook the history.  

  1.  To get it passed, Johnson had to break a Thurmond/southern filibuster.  Johnson knew he was likely losing the south to the Republicans for a generation (closer to two, now) because he was doing what was right.  How many Democrats will be willing, in the face of that historical example, to do what is right again?  [Answer:  zero]

  2. For the women in the crowd, remember, please, that the sex discrimination part of the Civil Rights Act was included by a Republican lawmaker as a joke, in the expectation that it would help bring the bill down to defeat.  Like the Russians walking out on the UN and winding up losing their veto over the UN going into Korea, the Republicans have never made that kind of mistake again.

  3.  Putting it in Congress gets spew like Senator Sessions of Alabama, making extended speeches on telecom immunity, in which he complains about "some people" who were "Busy taking up the time of the Senate defending the constitution while they should have been defending the nation."  This man, it needs be remembered, was actually considered bright enough to be nominated to be a federal circuit court judge.  By a Bush.

  4.  Civil rights acts are pretty meaningless when the Courts interpreting them routinely gut them through little, incremental decisions.  Used to be, if the police ran you down and killed you while in a high-speed chase, you could get your civil right (to not being deprived of life without due process) enforced.  No more.  Bivens?  A court decision.  And so on.

If you appoint corporatist/Establishment judges - as WJC did after nominees like Lani Guinier (sp) ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from the Republicans for actually advocating civil liberties - you will get Establishment-protecting decisions.  And civil liberties are routinely the victim of Establishment policies and practices.  

Oh, and finally. Relying on the Executive to actually obey the law is, after this administration, a dubious prospect at best.

FWIW - ask former AG Bobby Kennedy and his deputy Katzenbach how much got done with civil rights, without going to court.  Or, if you can't reach them, look in a history book.  [Answer:  next to nothing]

As to #4 - "Turn off the TV, do what I tell you is best for your kids."

Reading about that, all I could hear was Joementum's sanctimony on all things.  It's a short ride to another hospital.  You shouldn't have gotten yourself raped. Mr. Clinton's behavior was excreable.  And so on.  You've all heard his holier-than-thou sanctimony and it makes my stomach turn to try to write it down.  

Obama's sounding a lot like his mentor.

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    Even if we set aside the sanctimony (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 01:46:43 PM EST
    for the sake of discussion, the other points I've set forth don't help Obama.

    Oh, I forgot to comment on this: (4.50 / 2) (#3)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    Mr. Obama . . . is not a knee-jerk believer in the old-fashioned liberal view that courts should unilaterally impose civil liberties protections on unwilling majorities.

    This has to be one of the most naively stupid, silly statements I've ever read.

    Civil liberties protections are imposed on unwilling majorities precisely because they have to be imposed.  The Bill of Rights is a pretty explicitly countermajoritarian document, stating as a core principle that each person is entitled (as a birthright) to certain rights, no matter what.  Majorities almost always beat down the civil liberties of the individuals who don't necessarily conform to the larger society.

    And, let's not even talk about 5th (Miranda and due process) 6th (fair trial, speedy trial, right to counsel), 7th (jury trial) and 8th (no cruel and unusual punishments) Amendment rights.  Year in and year out, surveys have reported that a majority of people would not sign on to the Bill of Rights if it were put before them without being identified as the Bill of Rights.

    That's a majority for you.  And they are almost always unwilling to give up the whip hand.


    I smell William Ewart Gladstone (none / 0) (#15)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 05:54:31 PM EST
    He castigated Disraeli for fighting the Zulus and then proceeded, once won office to conduct a series of brutal colonial wars that Disraeli would never have dared to fight.

    Obama is a perfect vehicle for rebraning Imperial Wars as a good thing.


    think of the children! (3.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Nasarius on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 01:42:57 PM EST
    I'll just note that Hillary is pretty lousy on this front too, as are many mainstream Democrats. Her stance on video game regulation is about as silly as Tipper Gore's on music.

    I think your comparison to Lieberman's statements on emergency contraception is over-the-top, though, as that's an issue which has a very real, very negative impact on people's lives.

    As for Republican appointments, I don't think that's a universally bad thing. Clinton has, I believe, mentioned that Colin Powell could play some kind of diplomatic role. But the top positions? No way. We have too many good Democrats (Wes Clark, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden, to name just a few more prominent examples). And anyway, what have Lugar and Hagel done to uniquely qualify themselves?

    Yeah and remember (none / 0) (#9)
    by BernieO on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 04:25:48 PM EST
    what a fiasco Louis Freeh was.

    This Post Is Beyond the Pale (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by AdrianLesher on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 02:02:13 PM EST
    How is it that with Lieberman supporting McCain, Obama having supported Lamont in the general election, and Lamont now supporting Obama, you can even post this with a straight face?

    By the way, weren't Clinton, Durbin and Kennedy Obama's mentors as well? And wasn't Lieberman assigned to him by the Democratic leadership?

    Did you read this part? (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by scribe on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 02:10:31 PM EST
    Second, by having to go to the Republicans to fill the posts at State and/or Defense, Obama pretty explicitly states not only the lack of "talent" (see #1) in the Democratic party, but also does the party one worse.  He is saying, in so many words, that every time the Republicans argue that Democrats cannot be trusted with defense - they're right.  Because I can't find in the Democratic party someone "talented" enough to run the department.

    Hmmmm?  Sounds an awful lot like Joe to me.

    Who backed whom in which election is a kinda dubious ground to base things on - I'm more concerned with whom he considers his close friends - and that's Holy Joe.


    How could you post this with a straight face? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dave B on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 04:34:01 PM EST
    AdrianLesher, once you can answer (none / 0) (#14)
    by sancho on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 11:27:24 AM EST
    your very good questions about Obama/Lieberman and Obama/Lamont you'll understand something important about American politics. Until you can answer that quetion, you can't know how you are being manipulated and whom you serve. On this issue, Scribe is right. But since Obama is unlikely to win, we may never get to see how right Scribe is.

    Is Scribe Really Dan Gerstein? (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by AdrianLesher on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 06:30:35 PM EST
    Dan Gerstein's similar analysis of Obama is taken down Devilstower at Dailykos here:

    This editorial cannily predicted not just the decline of visitation at Daily Kos at the start of the same month in which the site smashed all previous records, but engaged in "grave-dancing" over the idea that Senator Obama's victories were the "last nail in the coffin" for Daily Kos.  This insightful political sage argued that the young voters supporting Obama were foreshadowed in the election of Joe Lieberman despite Lieberman actually losing that same cadre of voters, and that Lieberman and Obama were two sides of the same coin.  While bad editorials are common as dust and awful editorials are a plague on the ground, this kind of accomplishment has to be recognized.  Ladies and gentlemen, for outstanding -- some might say superhuman -- efforts in the realms of self-aggrandizement, self-delusion, and spin, the award for Worst Editorial Achievement goes to political commentator Dan Gerstein.  To immortalize this accomplishment, future recipients of this award will receive a "Golden Gerstein!"  Take a bow, Dan.

    Different Style (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 06:33:04 PM EST
    So no, they do not appear to be the same writer.

    No. They are not the same writer. (none / 0) (#8)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:58:49 AM EST
    Donors (none / 0) (#12)
    by rebrane on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 11:02:15 AM EST
    I've been looking through the FEC-provided lists of donors on Newsmeat.com. Here are a few statistics:

    1,511 people donated both to Clinton's presidential campaign and to Lieberman's 2006 Senate campaign

    1,289 people donated both to Obama's presidential campaign and to Lieberman's 2006 Senate campaign

    524 people donated to all three

    Just food for thought. By the way, the database I'm using shows 77,500 donors for Obama, 58,700 for Clinton and 9,500 for Lieberman. Small donors don't have to report, I believe.

    Nelson of Nebraska (none / 0) (#13)
    by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    is a Democrat.