Joseph Wilson Attacks Obama's Judgment and Record

Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame Wilson) writes in Huffington Post that Obama has shown "hollow" judgment on foreign affairs and has an empty record.

Among the points Wilson makes on Obama's 2002 statement on the Iraq War is one already conceded by Obama: that had he been in the Senate in 2003 and privy to the NIE and other information that the Senators were, he doesn't know how he would have voted:

During the 2002-2003 timeframe, he was a minor local official uninvolved in the national debate on the war so we can only judge from his own statements prior to the 2008 campaign. Obama repeated these points in a whole host of interviews prior to announcing his candidacy. On July 27, 2004, he told the Chicago Tribune on Iraq: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." In his book, The Audacity of Hope, published in 2006, he wrote, "...on the merits I didn't consider the case against war to be cut-and- dried." And, in 2006, he clearly said, "I'm always careful to say that I was not in the Senate, so perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was that I didn't have the benefit of US intelligence. And for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices."


Wilson also explains how Obama has been misrepresenting Hillary Clinton's vote on the war.

I was involved in that debate in every step of the effort to prevent this senseless war and I profoundly resent Obama's distortion of George Bush's folly into Hillary Clinton's responsibility. I was in the middle of the debate in Washington. Obama wasn't there. I remember what was said and done. In fact, the administration lied in order to secure support for its war of choice, including cooking the intelligence and misleading Congress about the intent of the authorization. Senator Clinton's position, stated in her floor speech, was in favor of allowing the United Nations weapons inspectors to complete their mission and to build a broad international coalition. Bush rejected her path. It was his war of choice.

Wilson says Obama is pandering:

The supposed intuitive judgment he exercised in his 2002 speech was nothing more than the pander of a local election campaign, just as his current assertions of superior judgment and scurrilous attacks on Hillary Clinton are a pander to those who now retroactively think the war was a mistake without bothering to acknowledge Senator Clinton's actual position at the time and instead fantasizing that she was nothing but a Bush clone. Obama willfully encourages and plays off this falsehood.

Then there's Afghanistan:

What should we make of Obama's other judgments in foreign affairs? Take Afghanistan, for example. It has been evident for some time that our efforts there are going badly and that cooperation and support from our NATO allies would be helpful. As chairman of the subcommittee on Senate Foreign Relations responsible for NATO and Europe, Obama could have used his lofty position actually to engage the issue and pressure the administration to take some action to improve our chance of success in that conflict against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Of course, that would have involved holding hearings, questioning administration witnesses, and taking a position and offering alternatives. That is what we expect that from senators in a democracy. It is called oversight.

But, instead, Obama, by his own admission, offers the excuse that he has been too busy running for president to do anything substantive, such as direct his staff to organize a single hearing.

Wilson compares Obama to Hillary:

At the same time that Obama claimed he was too busy campaigning to do anything substantive, racking up one of the worst attendance records in the Senate, Senator Clinton chaired extensive hearings of the Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health and attended many others as a member of the Armed Service Committee.

And on Iran:

On Iran and the question of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, the junior senator from Illinois was not quite so clever at avoiding taking a position. He first co-sponsored the "Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007," which contained explicit language identifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. He subsequently claimed to oppose the Kyl-Lieberman sense of the Senate resolution proposing the same thing. Obama's accountability problem here is that he didn't show up for the vote on that resolution -- a vote that would have put him on record. Then he declined to sign on to a letter put forward by Senator Clinton making explicit that the resolution could not be used as authority to take military action. All we have is Obama's rhetoric juxtaposed with his co-sponsorship of a piece of legislation that proposed what he says he opposed.

The bottom line for Wilson:

Obama's gyrations on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran are not the actions of one imbued with superior intuitive judgment, but rather the machinations of a political opportunist looking to avoid having his fingerprints on any issue that might be controversial, and require real judgment, while preserving his freedom to bludgeon his adversary for actually taking positions as elected office demands.

Update: Comments over 200, now closed.

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    This (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by rooge04 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:29:50 PM EST
    has been one of the things that I really don't understand when people attack Hillary's war vote. If you read what she said the day OF...she very clearly states that war was not the intention. But I guess that's just too difficult when it can be summed up as "She voted YES." Any time she's explained her position on this, it makes complete and clear sense.

    speeches only matter (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:34:10 PM EST
    when Obama makes them.

    It's a catch-22, though, because if she had tried to refer to this speech in one of the debates, guys like Russert would have dismissed it out of hand.  I think that this subtle shift we're seeing in the media away from Obama and toward McCain has meant that they are giving her a more fair look and listening to the points she  makes.


    they are giving her a more fair look (none / 0) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:42:28 PM EST
    or they have decided that he might not be the pushover for McCain that they had believed he was.

    and (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:43:49 PM EST
    they would all be better off with Hillary as a nominee and a fractured democratic party.

    What did Blix say about the AUMF? (none / 0) (#5)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:31:39 PM EST
    I don't recall. Has he made comments since he left his position on the subject?

    According to eriposte (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:35:17 PM EST
    To put it succinctly (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:46:15 PM EST
    from eriposte's diary:

    Blix] repeatedly states in his book [Disarming Iraq] how important it was to establish a credible and unified threat of military force against Iraq to get Saddam to not just let inspectors back in but also agree to the stringent terms of the UN inspections regime without playing "cat-and-mouse" games with the inspectors and the UN.

    Indeed, Blix calls out how he specifically asked Colin Powell, in early Oct 2002, for help in getting a credible threat of force included in any resolution to make sure that Iraq would really comply with the UN inspections regime ...

    Now, this was technically about a UN resolution and not the AUMF, but since 1441 was really toothless, the AUMF was the "big stick" that was neceesary to force Saddamm's compliance with inspections.

    Which were working, btw, despite the Administration's claims to the contrary.


    Which is what I would have expected. (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:39:43 PM EST
    I guess that's just too difficult (none / 0) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:37:25 PM EST
    if they acknowledged that they might have to acknowledge that Obama saying he was against the war  before he was in the senate and it didnt really matter that much didnt mean much either.
    nuance, who has time for it?

    Its called Cognitive Dissonance (none / 0) (#14)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:38:03 PM EST
    from webster:

    psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs [or facts] and attitudes held simultaneously

    I would have preferred (none / 0) (#31)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:55:45 PM EST
    that she had found a viable way to say, "Under normal circumstances this is how I would reason but I don't trust the Bush admin to behave responsibly so No."

    I think she figured we were going to war regardless and the admin would find no significant CWs - but enough to bash any No voting Dems in the next election.  Sometimes however it's better to be on the (short-term) losing side.


    so No (none / 0) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:02:23 PM EST
    maybe you dont remember the environment then.
    I think anyone who did this, who was not in an absolutely safe seat, would have been taking their political future in their hands.
    the republicans had the country whipped into a war froth like I have never seen before or since.
    many would have lost.  and I will say again.  I do not see how that would have helped anyone.  even the abused military.

    Political future (none / 0) (#54)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:14:14 PM EST
    Some things are more important than the political futures of individuals.

    And, well, Kerry's similar stance didn't help him.

    But the Dems might well be in a better position now and going forward if they had taken a firmer stance against Bush.  As it stands they're to some extent tarred with the same brush.  McCain gets to say that he pushed against Bush's Iraq policies even though he was a Republican while the Democrats did nothing effective in opposition.

    Also note that Clinton would have a simpler argument if she had voted for the Levin amendment (though Feingold's vote shows there were grounds not to).


    well (none / 0) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    I was there and I remember it well.  I do not think the democrats would be in a better position if they had seriously tried to stop the war resolution.
    I think they would be in the minority.
    they would have lost by the hundreds.

    futures of individuals (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:22:34 PM EST
    one other thing.  that is not what I meant.
    when you are talking about the bloodbath that would have resulted from trying to stop the countrys march to war you are talking about dozens, hundreds, maybe, of democrats going down to defeat.
    that does not help. not then and not now.

    Gulf War aftermath (none / 0) (#91)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:33:49 PM EST
    wasn't that bad.  The No voting Dems didn't get slaughtered this time, though the "wafflers" had and continue to have a hard time explaining themselves.

    Plus the country would have respected a firm stand - and a firm stand would have helped align more voters against the war, which would be useful now.  If the Dems had all said, "Powell's presentation is smoke and mirrors, let's see the real facts", that would make a great ad now.


    I don't think that's a fair comparison. (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:23:38 PM EST
    9/11 created an entirely different public attitude in 2002. Ther was a definite war fever.

    OTOH (none / 0) (#231)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:49:37 PM EST
    The Gulf War was well-prepared, well-organized, and limited in scope, and it worked out very well (short-term, anyway).  Bush pere was a clearly competent and experienced president.  Explaining away a No vote for a foreseeable disaster (which I'm positing since it's how I strongly felt) wouldn't be that different.  And I wasn't informed enough at the time to expect not a disaster but an utter catastrophe, which was probably foreseeable.

    I don't recall any sustained opposition that made the media, so it's not surprising that the public opinion was as mixed as it was.  A high-profile stand against the war might have changed the dynamic.


    ...and some things are not worth (none / 0) (#107)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:42:18 PM EST
    Some things are more important than the political futures of individuals.

    ...and some things are not worth endangering ones political future by taking a ineffective albeit "principled" stand on.

    The fact is that there was a lot of discussion about the language of the AUMF, then the Democratic leadership caved and gave Bush and the GOP what it wanted.  There were more than enough "blue dog" Democrats to assure passage in the Senate, and those who did vote against it did so as a matter of "principle" (i.e. that Congress should not give up its war making powers to ANY President...no votes weren't about Bush, they were about the relationship between the branches of government) --- AFAIK, no one who voted against the resolution was actually opposed to the idea of a broad international co-alition led by the USA deposing Saddam by force in the event he did not co-operate with inspections.  


    Sure (none / 0) (#123)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:51:03 PM EST
    I thought before the war that it was going to be a disaster but a short-term political club, and I hoped that the Dems were voting with awareness of both facts.  I don't blame Clinton for voting expediently given that it didn't matter anyway, but I still think it was a longer-term political miscalculation for her.  Obama's success couldn't be predicted, and otherwise she'd be well on the way to the presidency, but it seems to me she could have voted No safely and been the easy victor in this primary in any case.

    [Just for the record, I've been defending Clinton's vote for years on liberal blogs.]


    I opposed the war (none / 0) (#159)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:03:45 PM EST
    ...from the start because I have had 'BDS" from November 2000 on.  And I opposed Afghanistan for the same reason that I opposed Iraq -- not because I thought we'd get "bogged down" there, but because I knew that Bush would continue to invade countries until disaster struck.  I mean, when the AUMF was passed, I assumed that we'd wind up going into Iraq with the kind of coalition we had in 1991, and it would be a success.  At which point, Bush would insist upon invading another country.

    (Lets not forget that in the days and weeks after "Mission Accomplished", the right wasn't debating whether to invade Iran or Syria, just which one to invade first. )


    No, it's always politics. (none / 0) (#112)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:44:09 PM EST
    The way I see it, had the AUMF failed in October, the Democrats would have lost even more seats in November, and the new Congress would have promptly voted for AUMF, and war would have followed after that. The Democrats did not have the political ability to stop the AUMF or the war, so they could only save themselves. Part of the reason they were in such a bind is that on its face the AUMF was reasonable.
    Obviously I am speaking only for myself.

    they could only save themselves (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:50:17 PM EST
    which, may I say, was one of the more brilliant Rovian cluster f**ks in this LONG administration.

    I feeel that (none / 0) (#117)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:47:43 PM EST
    Since Hillary Clinton was the Sen. from NY during the attacks she could have taken a huge risk and tried to make some stand.  It was definitely savvy at the time for Kerry and Clinton to vote at the time as they did.  Hindsight has proven them wrong.

    I think it was wrong in that instance (none / 0) (#129)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    but I also think there is a very valid argument that it was not wrong in the larger context of giving the  country the approval to enforce UN resolutions.
    I hated Bush as much as anyone, even then, but I do not think even the most jaded and cynical of us could have predicted he would do ALL that he did.

    Being from New York meant experiencing (none / 0) (#188)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:19:18 PM EST
    9/11 first hand.  I hated Bush and felt he was a loose cannon, but the people on the east coast were more fearful of future attacks. That certainly fed into the tenor of the times.

    There was also a bipartisanship issue (none / 0) (#89)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:31:33 PM EST
    which Hillary noted at the time.  She felt that it was important for the AUMF to have bipartisan support.  There were two sides to the pre war posturing.  Saddam could have avoided the war.  He understimated Bush's resolve to go over the head of the UN.

    Bush was lucky in his enemy (none / 0) (#97)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:36:16 PM EST
    Saddam could have been more accomodating and probably survived, which would have left Bush looking a bit foolish (and left Clinton in a stronger position).

    I'm not sure what he could have done (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:43:18 PM EST
    Saddam did ultimately let the weapons inspectors do their job, after all.  That's pretty accommodating.

    If Bush was going to decide that Saddam must be hiding something and pull the weapons inspectors out unilaterally, I'm not sure Saddam could have done a whole lot to avoid that.


    He even offered to accept exile, (none / 0) (#113)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:44:34 PM EST
    or so I have read.

    ultimately (none / 0) (#133)
    by rilkefan on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:55:11 PM EST
    There was a long period of wrangling and messing with the inspectors, refusing to allow scientists to be interviewed in safety, etc.  He was of course trying to maintain a little ambiguity to keep up appearances in order to maintain strength at home and in the region, but it would have been smarter to open up and try to force Bush to pull back all those troops and then claim victory for surviving.

    At the time (none / 0) (#197)
    by Daryl24 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:25:02 PM EST
    it was the inspectors who were complaining that it was the Bush administration that was playing games and giving false information. Which would explain telling the inspectors to get out of Iraq before they completed the job.  

    Obama is pandering!!! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:33:57 PM EST
    say it aint so

    Ouch! (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by fafnir on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:43:47 PM EST
    "...the machinations of a political opportunist looking to avoid having his fingerprints on any issue that might be controversial, and require real judgment..."

    Wilson couldn't nail it more poignantly than that.

    The Speech (none / 0) (#24)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:48:36 PM EST
    Joseph Wilson: "As definitive proof he offers one speech he made in 2002 during a reelection campaign for an Illinois senate seat in the most liberal district in the state, so liberal that no other position would have been viable."

    In reality, most of us remember 2002 as the time when George Bush had high approval ratings and there was very little public opposition to the war.  For an ambitious politician with the last of Obama, it was a courageous position to stand against the Iraq war, period.


    marcellus (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:52:13 PM EST
    welcome back!

    To your comment: Obama was running for his IL senate seat, not the US senate, at the time.  He represented perhaps one of the most liberal districts in the state and most of his constituents were anti-war.  There were links to this stuff all over the place a couple of days after the debate.  It was a stand, but not a politically destructive one.  If anything, it probably got him more votes back home.


    Certainly may liberal (none / 0) (#32)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:56:06 PM EST
    But, again I repeat that his name was Barack Hussein Obama, and he had every intention of running for US Senate and President some day.

    Sorry I missed the links, I'll see if I can find them


    Hussein (none / 0) (#35)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    would not have been a handicap if the demographics folks have been talking about in his district are true.  Lots of Nation of Islam folks there as well as (I believe) Farrakhan himself.

    And he wasn't thinking of running for president back then.  Even without that clip floating around where Obama flatly denied it and said he didn't have near enough experience to be president, I don't think anyone thought Obama could be a contender so soon.  At least not until Axelrod showed up.


    Obama could be a contender (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:04:42 PM EST
    even Obama

    Most, if not all (none / 0) (#42)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    Black Muslims were and are, rightfully so, against Osama bin Laden. In the speech he separates Iraq and Afghanistan.  You could argue that he should do more with his Senate committee on that issue now instead of campaigning, but you can't use the speech for this argument.

    against Osama bin Laden (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:07:11 PM EST
    I would certainly hope so.
    it seems it would go without saying.

    Well that is the point (none / 0) (#50)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:10:13 PM EST
    under debate.  George Bush used a bait and switch to go to Iraq.  He was going to do it on his own and to CYA the Republicans tried to push through a Congressional approval.

    Hi Kathy (none / 0) (#201)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:34:18 PM EST
    I couldn't find any info suggesting that Hyde Park/South Side Chicago was a pacifist area in 2002.  If you have any please let me know.

    As for the Axelrod creation, have you read the May 2004, New Yorker article and the recent one by the reporter in Houston?  Obama's probably using Axelrod more than the other way around.


    You're saying it was courageous to (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:45:46 PM EST
    give an anti-war speech to a friendly audience, because he knew that 2 or 3 years later, people might look back on what he said?
    If Obama had real courage, the future would not have been a consideration.

    Pander and Naive Position (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:22:11 PM EST
    I thinks its possible BO really believed what he was saying, but it could just as easily have been a pander to the anti-war crowd in Chicago.

    More significantly, though, if it wasn't a pander to the left, it was an extremely naive position to take  - as BO subsequently acknowledged - because 1) it ignored the political realities in Washington at that time and 2) neglected to consider that, perhaps, their actually existed information he was and had not been privvy to - i.e., hard intelligence that was shared with Clinton and other federally elected officials - that supported the AUMF.

    That the "hard intelligence" turned out later to have been a pack of lies manufactured by the Bush administration is really neither here nor there.


    Barack Obama (none / 0) (#198)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    Panders and spins with the shrewdest of politicians.  His underlying position on the Iraq War though is clear and consistent, and the Clinton campaign talking point from Joseph Wilson above and Bill Clinton in New Hampshire, falls apart when looking at the evidence.

    You don't think (none / 0) (#136)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:56:21 PM EST
    Kerry and Clinton based their votes on future political ramifications?

    It wasn't just a speech! (none / 0) (#154)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:01:43 PM EST
    Just because the Clinton line is "his whole campaign is based on one speech", does not make it so. Obama made many public statements discussing his position.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#190)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:20:34 PM EST
    Even in his most famous speech, the 2004 convention speech, he says that there are many patriots who opposed the war (...and in a small voice...) some who supported it--eg. Kerry, Edwards.  It was clear that he was running on being against the war from the start, but conceded that we have to be careful in pulling out in order to not destabilize the region.

    it was a courageous position (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:53:10 PM EST
    that must be why he took it off his website when he ran for the senate.

    and why on July 27, 2004, while running (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:34:16 PM EST
    for the US Senate, he told the Chicago Tribune on Iraq: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage."  

    If you break it you buy it (none / 0) (#101)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:37:31 PM EST
    and a little pandering.

    He ran for the US Senate (none / 0) (#88)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:31:07 PM EST
    In 2004 as an anti-war candidate who had to temper his views in order to support the Democratic nominee.  The voters in Illinois knew this distinction, even if Bill Clinton pretends he doesn't.

    Not in his home (none / 0) (#43)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    District in Chicago ...

    In fact, his ant-war position was necessary to get re-elected there.

    That's for State senate in 2002, not the US Senate that he had not even announced he was running for.


    I disagree on purely (none / 0) (#98)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:36:25 PM EST
    anecdotal evidence.  I lived in a surrounding district, and visited Hyde Park around this time frame.  I agree with Capt Howdy on of his other comments: In 2002, GWB had whipped this country into such a war frenzy that even so-called liberal areas were very cognizant of the evil "other".

    Anecdotally I have to agree.... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:44:08 PM EST
    ....I remember that too. A lot of people were bamboozled, including many of the ones who are now skewering Hillary for her vote. In fact, I could call out some of my own friends, but I won't. I feel like that's water under the bridge and we need to move on from who was against the war and when. Bush had like a 90% approval rating way back then, so clearly it wasn't just Republicans who bought Bush/Cheney bullcrap in 2002.

    This I can agree with (none / 0) (#125)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:52:15 PM EST
    Many (if not most) of the people piling on Clinton now, would have voted the same way if they were in the Senate at the time.

    Yes (none / 0) (#177)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:11:51 PM EST
    It really was the only sensible position to take for a variety of reasons.

    And as Paul L states above, many of the 21 Dem senators who voted against the AUMF were actually in favor of it but wanted strings attached that would have limited Bush's authority.

    The problem was that these "strings" - like getting UN pre-aproval for any military action by the US - were practically and politically untenable.

    So, in the end, it was the right thing to do ... even though most thinking people thought we shouldn't go to war with Iraq unless they simply thumbed there nose at the UN inspectors.  Which they clearly DIDN'T do.

    Nobody anticipated that we had a lunatic sitting in the White House.  Which we  DID then and DO now have.


    Joe Wilson makes the nuances understandable. n/t (none / 0) (#195)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:23:52 PM EST
    war vote (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    "has been one of the things that I really don't understand when people attack Hillary's war vote. If you read what she said the day OF...she very clearly states that war was not the intention. "

    It doesn't matter what the intention was, what matters was the result. Once the use of force was authorized, of course the administration was going to invade no matter what, that was obvious at the time, and just about everyone knew it. I remember at the time my heart sinking when they voted to authorize war. Of course I hoped that the administration wouldn't abuse the declaration, but at the time I knew that was wishful thinking. And I wasn't a U.S. senator.

    The constitution gives the congress the power and the responsibility to declare war. So if we're in a war we shouldn't be in, fundamentally it's the congress's fault, the congress and those who authorized the war. Now of course in this case they did it by bestowing their authority on an executive branch determined to go to war, but that doesn't make it any less their responsibility.

    Wilson makes a good point that Obama was not in the senate when the vote took place, so we can't tell for sure which way he would have voted. Nonetheless, we do know how Hillary Clinton voted, and as much she wants to deny it, it is the vote that authorized the war that killed hundreds of thousands, displaced millions, will cost trillions, destabilized a hugely important part of the world, and sullied are image in much of the world.

    I'm getting a little tired (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:40:52 PM EST
    of this "everybody knew it" meme. I was opposed to the war before it started, too, but I didn't "know" Bush was going to invade no matter what. You may recall that a lot of people didn't fully come on board thew war effort until Powell's infamous UN speech. It's hard to believe now, but there is a certain code in Washington, and I think a lot of Senators really didn't believe that the President would brazenly lie to Congress and the public in order to start a war. I remember seeing Kerry being interviewed, and he was stressing that his vote was intended to give Bush leverage if every diplomatic option failed. I think a lot of the people who claim they "knew" Bush would invade Iraq just presumed the worst about him. It's not a bad bet, as it turns out. But I'm reminded of my wife, who predicts doom at every turn. Then when something does go bad, she says "I knew it."

    I understand people opposing Hillary for a variety of reasons. But I know many people who say that her AUMF vote is the only issue that matters. So they make a choice in the election against one candidate based on one vote six years ago, and for another candidate based on a few speeches six years ago. I know it was a big vote, but it wasn't "The Authorization to Kill Thousands of Our Troops and Drain Our Treasury." I just don't have much respect for people who view things in such black and white terms.


    When judging conduct in 2002, it's only fair (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:14:24 PM EST
    to base that judgment on what was said and done, then.

    That's what historians do, because anything else is allowing hindsight to color the analysis.

    We can look at subsequent conduct and statements, because they might illuminate what the mindset or intention or plan of the person was at the time they did or said anything, but that's all they'll do.

    As for 2002, I was one of the people anti-war from the moment of 9/11.  I was living in the NYC area at the time, and watched the towers burn from a riverfront view.  And, I said at that moment with great dread:  "with this crowd in office, there goes the Constitution."

    Would that I had been proven wrong.  I also remember pounding my steering wheel on the way home from work that night (I went to work) while stuck in traffic listening to the news, screaming at the Admin's spokespeople:  "how many are you going to have to kill?  No number of dead will undo what has been done, regardless of how hard all the killing makes your d*ck."  Because it was evident to anyone that was what was going to happen.

    And, scrolling back to the run-up to the Iraq war, I am proud to say that I refrained from saying anything, let alone beating the crap out of a couple idiotic patently-Republican frat boys trying to persuade a train car I was in that we needed a war, that we had to have a war, and that Americans (other than them) were the right people to fight it.  I maintained my pacifism in the face of extreme provocation.

    So, I am perhaps the only one on this thread who can state unequivocally I was anti-war from jump.  Yet, even I was almost taken in by Powell's lies on what Sadaam had and would do.  Even though I knew in my heart of hearts that he and they were full of sh*t.  Even though I knew (from prior military experience, training and education) that, while the initial invasion part of the war might have been a cakewalk, there was no way the American military was going to put down a determined insurgency.  Particularly where Sadaam had had many years of advance notice that we were coming, during which he could set up all the concealed caches of arms that he did.

    Sad to say, I knew pretty much from the minute that Rummy and the Admin started turning down ideas for raising the size of the Army during the run-up to the Afhgan war in the fall/winter of 2001-2002, that we were in for war without end because what they wanted was not resolution, but war and the power that goes with it.

    I don't malign anyone who didn't see that, or who was taken in by elaborately structured lies masquerading as intelligence, directed personally at them.  I'm a doubter and a cynic, particularly when it comes to Republicans, and had been for a long time.  Most people weren't, then.

    Perhaps Not (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:24:06 PM EST
    So, I am perhaps the only one on this thread who can state unequivocally I was anti-war from jump.

    I was woken up by the sound of the blast of 9/11, and I do not mean that figuratively. Given that I did not remotely believe Saddam was involved and was also against the war before it started and still am.


    That's why I said "perhaps" - (none / 0) (#85)
    by scribe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:29:39 PM EST
    I dunno for a fact what anyone else thought/said/did.

    How easy (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by ruthinor on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:34:59 PM EST
    it is to be antiwar when you never have to VOTE for or against in the senate.  Making one speech does not make one heroic, especially if your subsequent voting record on financing the war is identical to that of the opponent you are excoriating.

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:45:21 PM EST
    ...there is always a difference between opposing a war and voting to fund troops that are in Iraq.  Just apples and oranges.  That used to be the half-hearted argument I made when I was still supporting Senator Clinton and trying to persuade Senator Obama supporters that when it came to Iraq, he got nothin'.  It did, and does, feel like a hollow argument.  I read a letter to the editor I wrote to my undergraduate newspaper opposing the war in November of 2002 shortly before I decided to vote for Senator Obama.  It is just too crucial to me.  You can talk about political risks, but she had the opportunity to show leadership.  She failed, as did about half of the Democratic senate.  

    indeed, I am surprised (none / 0) (#138)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:56:42 PM EST
    at the defense of this vote, here.  My own view is that she buckled, made a mistake, but that it's just one item of a hundred that need to be considered in evaluating her.  I can buy that argument, but defending the vote I find difficult to swallow.

    Let me go on record then..... (none / 0) (#151)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:00:39 PM EST
    ....as not defending her vote. I was very pissed at her and all the Dems that voted for the resolution.

    Part Of My Rationalization (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    For pulling the lever for HRC was that I believe OHB would have also voted for the AUMF.

    And that's fair enough... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:23:02 PM EST
    ...but I also think it is fair to question her judgment, and to believe that Senator Obama is principled and would not have voted for the Iraq war.  Senator Levin, after all, also opposed the war.  As did Senators Feingold and Wellstone.  They faced the greatest risk, if you were in the midwest and bearing witness to the insanity that had engulfed the region, as opposed to our political leaders.

    Of course... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:28:11 PM EST
    ...he probably would have read the National Intelligence Estimate.  ;-)

    Just like he read the bills he (none / 0) (#3)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:30:51 PM EST
    sponsored, that were put in his lap to make him look good for the Senate campaign? ROFLMAO.

    NIE (none / 0) (#26)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:50:56 PM EST
    Well, apparently Jay Rockefeller did. And then voted FOR the AUMF, despite Obama's and Axelrod's insistence the other day that he had voted against it.

    Is that... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:53:27 PM EST
    ...really the best you can do?  If Senator Clinton cannot take the heat now, Senator McCain will crush her on this issue.  

     Senator Feingold has endorsed Senator Obama.  To me, that pretty much sums it up.


    Now I have to say to you again (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:05:23 PM EST
    to respect my Senator Russ, please. Again, again, again you say this, and it isn't so. He specifically said that in his private vote for Obama, although he was leaning that way, it was not yet an endorsement. Why do you keep dissing my senator's wishes? You could be setting a trap for your candidate, you know. If my senator endorses the other way, then it will be headlines that he switched from Obama.

    and (none / 0) (#34)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:56:58 PM EST
    Obama endorsed Kerry.  Sums up a lot, too.

    Oh... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:02:15 PM EST
    ...so now Democratic Party loyalty doesn't count? I'm confused. It seems to vary based on who is making the comments.  

    Touche (none / 0) (#196)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:24:21 PM EST
    Ahhh, I case you forgot (none / 0) (#99)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:36:47 PM EST
    McCain voted for the AUMF. I doubt he'll even be bringing the issue up.

    Her failure to read the NIE (none / 0) (#116)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:46:59 PM EST
    aside from demonstrating that her experience has not taught her to know what is going on before taking a vital vote, makes using his quote about not being sure how he would have voted in the Senate dangerous for her.  He was assuming that Senators might know something he did not.  Since she did not bother to read the NIE that would not apply to her.  

    Similarly... (none / 0) (#127)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    ...it suggests that she places a huge amount of trust in her staffers, trust that is more akin to the trust President Bush has in his own circle.  That is dangerous.  I know that reading every report is impossible, but this was a crucial vote.  Everyone at the time knew it, whether you opposed or supported the war.  

    Joe Wilson for Secretary of State! (none / 0) (#4)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:31:01 PM EST

    Will he now be treated the way Krugman (none / 0) (#11)
    by jawbone on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:36:10 PM EST
    is on some blogs? No more links or outright attacks? I commented about/linked to this article, and a commenter said Joe should just shut up. Said in a more flamboyant way....

    I thought the article put together in one place several of my concerns.  And the more I think about Obama not having held even one hearing of his sub-committee, the angrier I get about that. He had an important portfolio.

    If Hillary had done something like that, it would be all over the editorial pages and cable news, then cable talkers.

    (Grrrrrrowls in frustration)


    Should be a dealbreaker. (none / 0) (#219)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:10:18 PM EST
    "the more I think about Obama not having held even one hearing of his sub-committee, the angrier I get about that. He had an important portfolio."

    Someone on this site commented the other day, following the debate, that he wished Clinton had followed up by saying something like  

    "Only in government can sombody who isn't doing their job apply for a promotion!"

    Good point.


    Wow (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:33:54 PM EST
    Sounds like Wilson has taken the vapors.

    Senator Clinton's position, stated in her floor speech, was in favor of allowing the United Nations weapons inspectors to complete their mission and to build a broad international coalition.

    But she voted against this idea by giving Bush the power to go to war. Guaranteed that Wilson, like Kennedy, would have said something similar as justification to vote against the AUMF because he, and many others knew never to trust Bush.

    I respect his opinion that he believes HRC a better person to lead but to use her vote for the war in this way is dishonest, imo.

    Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:38:01 PM EST
    How would defeating the AUMF have created any leverage to allow the weapons inspectors to complete their mission?  Seems to me that would have emboldened Saddam to do the exact opposite.

    Hans Blix (none / 0) (#124)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:51:50 PM EST
    According to Hans Blix, the AUMF was part of the US effort to get the UN Security Council to unanimously approve a tough UN Resolution demanding Hussein allow inspections. The effort to get the tough UN Resolution was supported by Blix and it was his belief that it was the only way to get inspections. The AUMF happened in October 2002. The unanimous UN Resolution came in November 2002. Its clear from Clinton's speech that she voted for the AUMF as a way to get inspectors into Iraq and possibly prevent  a war.

     I don't see where that vote necessarily lead to the war.  I'm sure that if the Senate hadn't passed such an Amendment that Bush would have gone to war anyway. He hasn't shown any interest in respecting the separation of powers anywhere else. Why does everyone think he would have respected it here. Assurances were given that the Bush Administration would come back to both the UN and to Congress for further authorization if the inspections didn't help. And they lied. All these posters who insist that they personally "knew" that Bush was going to take us to war no matter what, should have known that if that's true then a negative outcome on the vote wouldn't have mattered. I realize we don't have Bush to punish for the war. We had our chance and blew it. I don't see how shifting the blame for the war to  the Democrats is a winning strategy in 2008.Its certainly not an honest one.


    If President Bush.... (none / 0) (#146)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:00:06 PM EST
    ...had executed the war without the support of the senate, it would have created a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen.  It also might have helped us in 2004, frankly, if we had not been running someone who voted for the resolution.  

    "Constitutional Crisis?" (none / 0) (#199)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:31:24 PM EST
    Hell, Bush revels in "constitutional crises" ...

    It's what gets his mojo up in the morning.

    Besides, presidents go to war without the approval of congress all the time ... they just don't call what they're dong "war."


    And read her speech that day (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:45:34 PM EST
    with her vote. It is quite clear.

    Have you taken the time to read what the bill (none / 0) (#10)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:35:33 PM EST

    Yes (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:00:34 PM EST
    And I have read her speech Feingold's and Kennedy's. Have you?

    Yes (none / 0) (#45)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:06:33 PM EST
    and if you did read the bill you know that it was a bill declaring a war.

    Mind you, I was one of thousands who (none / 0) (#69)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:20:23 PM EST
    marched against the war.  I was mad at those who helped it get started and I have not forgotten but judging from what I have seen from Obama so far in the Senate I don't think he would have been on the Nay's side.  I have no way of knowing but his way of doing things in the Senate so far give me the impression he would have been thinking of reelection and not Iraqis.

    Fine (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:38:54 PM EST
    I also think that he would have voted for the war were he in the Senate then. That doesn't absolve HRC's vote. As far as I am concerned it is a mistake to try and defend her vote.

    she should have done what Edwards did (none / 0) (#120)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:49:34 PM EST
    but then my being for or against her is not based on this issue.  Besides my reservations towards Obama for whom I will vote if he is the nominee are not based on this issue either.

    But it does make (none / 0) (#171)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:09:20 PM EST
    it ridiculous to hold that vote out as some major difference between the two candidates. If you thing that he would have voted the same way, why beat her over the head with it and not him?

    Uhhh (none / 0) (#189)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:19:29 PM EST
    Because he did not vote. I do not see any difference between the two of them regarding the war, or much else for that matter.

    I don't think he would (none / 0) (#184)
    by marcellus on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:15:34 PM EST
    have voted for the war based on his many interviews and public statements while running for US Senate in 2004 and his 2002 speech.  We don't know for sure what he would have done if he was a sitting Senator, but running for Senate for the first time is a also a politically vulnerable position.

    Kennedy Not Trust Bush? (none / 0) (#25)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:50:52 PM EST
    It that's the case then why was Teddy in bed with Bush with No Child Left Behind?

    Full disclosure?? (none / 0) (#16)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    It should probably be noted that Joseph Wilson has endorsed and been campaigning for Clinton since Nevada. To leave that info out is somewhat disingenuous.

    I suppose that goes without saying (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:44:53 PM EST
    Maybe it doesn't.

    Who didn't know that?

    He endorsed way before Nevada even.


    curious omission (none / 0) (#37)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:01:23 PM EST
    Sean Wilentz, Joseph Wilson, etc. somehow it never gets mentioned in posts here that they're connected to the Clinton campaign.

    Wilson Yes (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:04:11 PM EST
    Wilentz no.

    no? (none / 0) (#58)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:14:52 PM EST
    In this post about the Wilentz article it makes no mention of his being a Clinton supporter.

    Cause He's (none / 0) (#109)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:43:09 PM EST
    not, there is not been an endorsement of Clinton by Wilentz.

    I don't think he's trying to hide.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:51:03 PM EST
    ...his support of Hillary. In fact that seems to be the point of the article. He's kind of a known Clinton supporter at this point. Are you suggesting that his support of Hillary makes his opinion invalid?

    absent from the post (none / 0) (#47)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:08:32 PM EST
    The post just references him as "Former US Ambassador" and that he's married to Valarie Plame. Then there are excerpts of his direct take down of Obama and praising of Hillary. I don't think it makes his opinion invalid, any more than if Ted Kennedy, Russ Finegold, or Maria Shriver were to come out with a rough critique of Hillary. But it should be pointed out that he's not a neutral party or outside observer.

    LOL, well I would accept.... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:24:57 PM EST
    ...a critique from anyone who has standing to make that critique so a critique of Hillary about the war from Maria Shriver would mean nothing to me. Btw, I still respect Ted Kennedy, John Lewis, and most of the other people who have endorsed Obama. If they criticized Hillary on healthcare or civil rights, I'd have to give it a fair listen. I think it's just a little picky to use the "consider the source" argument about Joe Wilson and the War in Iraq.

    fair enough (none / 0) (#108)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:42:38 PM EST
    I think if Kennedy were to criticize Hillary on Health Care, Finegold critique her on Judicial affairs, or Shriver go at her about poverty issues, it would be clearly indicated that they were supporters of Obama and/or had campaigned for him.

    It wouldn't (nor should it) invalidate their stance. Same with Wilson, just think his lengthy connection to the campaign should have been disclosed.


    Um (none / 0) (#75)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:24:49 PM EST
    I really don't get the point of this criticism.  If someone who supports Hillary explains his reasons for supporting Hillary, somehow we should take it less seriously... because he supports Hillary?

    Not Alone (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:29:01 PM EST
    You also have to consider his position then, and how his shilling now makes him seem dishonest regarding her AUMF vote.

    Not really..... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:35:25 PM EST
    Wilson's position has always been that the administration cooked up the case and lied to the country. This seems very consistent to me. He wants to put the blame where it belongs...on Bush/Cheney.

    My Point Exactly (none / 0) (#122)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:50:23 PM EST
    Defending her war vote goes against his well known position. It makes him look like he is reaching.

    We are not making the same point... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:57:18 PM EST
    ...and if you think we are, then clearly I am not expressing myself very well. :)

    OK We Disagree (none / 0) (#152)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    IMO, were he a Senator he would have voted against AUMF. Supporting HRC on this seems more about shilling than supporting his own beliefs.

    C'mon, Steve (none / 0) (#202)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:38:01 PM EST
    You're questioning the logic of the anti-Hillary bias?

    That is a worm hole we should never approach:-)


    Has it occured to you that he is endorsing her (none / 0) (#145)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:59:10 PM EST
    because he believes her judgement on this and is upset at the demagogery being played by the Obama campaign?

    Check out this NYT piece (none / 0) (#33)
    by TomLincoln on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:56:29 PM EST
    Why McCain Would Vote For Obama - pointing out how Obama would be an easier candidate for McCain to later take on in GE.

    I think (none / 0) (#94)
    by Fultron on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    it's pretty clear McCain would destroy Obama in a foreign policy debate. Obama spoke out against the war when it was easy and convenient, but hasn't followed through. Hillary can't call out Obama on the war in a Democratic primary, but McCain certainly can in the GE. McCain's position on Iraq will be played by the media as one based on knowledge and experience. I can already see the exchange, "You said you were against the war, but then voted to support it, and now you want to retreat. Remind us again how many times you have visited Iraq, what your military service record is, and why the American public should trust your judgement on this issue?" Game over.

    The thing is that this election will not be about Iraq. Obama may lose on foreign policy, but he wins or at least fights to a draw in every other area.


    It Depends (none / 0) (#48)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:09:10 PM EST
    On wether or not one buys the idea that she was involved in any Foreign Policy decisions during the 8 years she was First Lady.

    Well (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:15:09 PM EST
    I would.

    I think she was involved in those decisions, the process by which those decisions are made, etc.


    I wouldn't know (none / 0) (#87)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:30:19 PM EST

    I would just find it impossible to believe she was involved in none.


    Seriously? (none / 0) (#80)
    by AmyinSC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:26:40 PM EST
    Well, if you just want to write off all 8 yrs of her White House experience in which she visited 82 countries, and her work with many of thoses governments, as well as her work on Human Rights around the world by consequnce, it seems you have already stacked the deck against her.  Why don't you take a look at her Senate webpage to see what she has done in terms of Foreign Policy?  Here's the link: http://clinton.senate.gov/

    As for Obama, well, surely you have heard by now that he lobbied for, and GOT, a plum position as chair of the Senate European Subcommittee?  A position he has held since Jan. 2007, and of which he has held NO MEETINGS????  This is the committee that deals with NATO, and AFGHANISTAN.  Here's a link: http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/12/29/obama_europe/

    If you are seriously asking this question, I commend youfor wanting to make a reasoned decision.  I would also hope you read more on Obama before making that decision.  You may want to take a look at some articles out there on how he got his IL seat, how he got his name on a a bunch of legislation in IL, and the bills on which he decided not to vote.  Just sayin'.  

    One more thing - vote for Hillary!  :-)  Sorry - couldn't resist!


    The present votes... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:33:44 PM EST
    ...in the Illinois senate are complicated because of the procedural rules of that body and the fact that Republicans controlled the discourse there for ten years.  

     Additionally, say what you want about his senate votes, she skipped out on the most crucial vote we had this year: telecom immunity.  No wonder virtually all of my law school faculty supports Senator Obama.  It isn't even a close question.  

     I happen to believe she does have a lot of foreign policy experience that would be valuable and she did a lot of good abroad.  The Clintons are beloved when you travel abroad.  When I first visited France they loved him and hated the scrutiny conservatives were placing on his sex life.  They loved him in Thailand when I studied abroad there with students who came from across Asia.  

     Alas, Iraq.  


    telecom immunity bill (none / 0) (#158)
    by wasabi on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:03:24 PM EST
    The vote wasn't even close.  I am quite sure the whip would have gotten her to vote if her vote was needed.  

    If it wasn't close... (none / 0) (#166)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:06:15 PM EST
    ...why not speak out against it and at least show up to vote against lawbreaking?  She's running a Democratic primary campaign, not for Who's Who in Neconservatism Today.  

    Obama skipped the vote too (none / 0) (#193)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    Both Clinton and Obama voted against cloture, which stopped the filibuster. Then when Dodd's amendment came up, Clinton had already left for Wisconsin campaigning. So she missed the vote on the amendment. Obama was in town campaigning in DC, but he also left before the vote for the bill. BOTH OBAMA AND CLINTON missed the vote on passage of FISA with the telecom immunity. If they had both been there for both votes it wouldn't have made any difference int the outcome

    Fine... (none / 0) (#200)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:33:13 PM EST
    ...she wasn't present to vote on the immunity amendment, although she was in Washington at the time.  He voted for the amendment.  Senator Dodd at the time announced that he was abandoning the filibuster and counting on the House to defeat the bill.  So she just did not vote on the issue of immunity, the key issue.  Ugh.  

    No (none / 0) (#220)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:12:37 PM EST
    she wasn't in Washington at the time. Obama was. But he left before the vote on the FISA bill with telecom immunity. Why the double standard?

    Agreed... (none / 0) (#160)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:04:10 PM EST
    ...re: creation of political dynasties.  That looks really, really bad.  I know that they do not come from remotely the same place as the Bushes, but the perception is that we really are ruled by a political elite with the same fundamental view of the world.  



    Maybe your perception... (none / 0) (#226)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:28:18 PM EST
    not mine, nor anyone I know.

    are you also wondering (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:10:08 PM EST
    what Obamas foreign policy experience is

    the exact same (none / 0) (#57)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:14:37 PM EST
    as Hillary's.  Essentially none.

    LOL (none / 0) (#62)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    Two Obama supporters have have their "suspicions" confirmed.

    They aren't suspicions (none / 0) (#70)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:21:37 PM EST
    and I find it ironic that you would criticize us while you are posting on one of the most pro-Hillary sites on the Internet.

    One of the few pro-Hillary sites on the Internet (none / 0) (#143)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:58:33 PM EST
    I dont believe she is doing much running (none / 0) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:26:07 PM EST
    specifically on her foreign policy experience.
    although I think there is an argument to be made about that just based on her work in the senate.
    I would say, as a Hillary supporter, that it is a more broad statement about experience in general.
    experience in government and experience in life.

    I don't know how to do links on this page (none / 0) (#169)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:09:00 PM EST
    but I would refer you to Wesley Clark and Richard Holbrook and Madeline Albright, all of whom are on record saying that Hillary's inside knowledge and depth of understanding is so impressive that they support her. Albright said the other nite that this is a time for a president to have deep knowledge because our world is in a perilous time. Fear mongering or realistic?  In addition to that about 10-15 ex generals have supported her for CIC. Years ago that would have been a sign of BIG MILITARY, but today the generals have seen what Bush has done to it and want a President who knows the ropes.

    Hey (none / 0) (#53)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:13:01 PM EST
    you guys planning on posting some polemics against Hillary from people campaigning for Obama anytime soon?  No?  Oh well.

    Mr. Wilson is not being terribly honest.  3 years ago he claimed that the intelligence didn't support the war.  Good argument based on a reasonable reading of the facts at hand.  

    Now he is saying that Hillary's voting in favor of AUMF was somehow NOT a vote in favor of going to war eventhough the bill explicitly allowed Bush to go to war without any other approvals from Congress.  

    John Kerry used this same argument in 2004 and it was just as weak as this one is now.  It is a rationalization to avoid the simple fact that the majority of Democrats in 2002 were terrified of being labeled anti-war and simply didn't have the spine to stand up to Bush.

    Had they the spine it would have been trivially easy for them to place restrictions on the AUMF to ensure that Bush didn't just use this vote as a blank check, which he almost immediately did.  

    It is entirely possible that, had Obama been in the Senate in 2002, he would have voted in favor of the war.  But he wasn't so he didn't.  And because of that he doesn't have to go through endless rationalizations to justify his vote.

    And none of this addresses the fact that Hillary Clinton STILL won't admit she made a mistake in voting for the AUMF.  She dances around it but won't simply say "I screwed up!  I trusted the President!"  

    But if Joe Wilson wants to make the debate about the AUMF, that's fine with me.

    The argument (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:40:13 PM EST
    is stronger than you acknowledge.

    Hans Blix himself has said that Saddam was not going to allow the inspectors to finish their jobs without a credible threat of force.

    If Congress had tied Bush's hands, if they had said "you need to come back to us a second time" or "you need to go to the UN" or whatever, it is very unlikely that would have been perceived as a credible threat of force.  Indeed, it would have been a crushing setback for Bush.  Not that that breaks my heart, but there wouldn't have been any weapons inspections if that had happened.

    In reality, the whole thing was brilliantly orchestrated by Bush and the Republicans.  Democrats could argue all they wanted that Bush couldn't be trusted with the authority, but the only way to prove to the voters that Bush was acting in bad faith was to actually give him the authority.

    The war was wrong, but in reality, the country was not ready only a year after 9/11 to accept the position that the President could not be trusted with the authority.  The country may have been ready to accept the position that the war was wrong, but that wasn't the actual issue on the table.  I don't like it any more than you do.


    And yet (none / 0) (#132)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:54:41 PM EST
    22 Senators did feel that the country was ready to oppose the President's blank check.

    I understand the political challenges that Dems faced in 2002.  But it's 6 years later and Hillary is still trying to justify her vote rather than simply say it was a mistake.

    That is the one thing that really sticks in my craw regarding Hillary.

    I'm tired of politicians who seem to be completely unwilling to ever admit error.


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:00:34 PM EST
    but none of those 22 were under any illusions that they would actually have to deal with the consequences of not giving Bush the authority.  Frankly, the deal was sealed as soon as the Dem leadership agreed to let Bush have his vote prior to the election.

    Much is made of the difference between giving a speech and casting a vote.  But here's the difference that actually matters: Obama got to deal with the easy question, the question of whether we should go to war.  If the issue had been framed like that in Congress, you would have seen a lot more Democrats voting no.  That's why the Republicans were so clever in refusing to let the issue of war become decoupled from the issue of giving Bush the authority.


    I'm not sure (none / 0) (#170)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:09:05 PM EST
    what you mean when you say they didn't have to deal with the consequences.  I'd imagine Lincoln Chafee knew what the consequences were.  How bout Bog Graham?  Kent Conrad?  

    Whether the Republicans were clever or not doesn't much matter.  6 years later and Hillary still defends her vote as the right thing to do.  


    There were no consequences (none / 0) (#211)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:51:57 PM EST
    because Bush was, in fact, given the authority.  They all knew how the vote would turn out.

    What I'm suggesting, in the larger pictures, is that while you and I both feel the war sucks and that we want to be able to name some heroes to praise and villains to blame, in the real world it's not actually that simple.  Does it feel like some Democrats were trying to have it both ways by voting yes and saying at the same time that they didn't want a war?  Yes, but that doesn't mean there's no truth to the position.


    23 actually (none / 0) (#187)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:16:17 PM EST
    The vote was 77-23. There were 22 Democratic Senators and Jeffords. Obama is on record in 2002 as saying he would have voted Nay on that resolution.

    2002 interview-

    "what is our long-term commitment there?  How much is it going to cost?  What does it mean for us to rebuild Iraq?  How do we stabilize and make sure that this country doesn't splinter into factions between the Shias, and the Kurds, and the Sunnis?"

    BERKOWITZ: "And how would you have voted?  Would you have supported that resolution?  Voted yea or nay?"

    OBAMA: "If it had come to me in an up or down vote as it came, I think I would have agreed with our senior Senator Dick Durbin and voted nay.  And the reason is not that I don't think we should have aggressive inspections.  What I would have been concerned about is a carte blanche to the Administration for a doctrine of preemptive strikes that I'm not sure sets a good precedent."

    Talk Is Cheap (none / 0) (#191)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:21:56 PM EST
    you what isn't (none / 0) (#204)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:39:23 PM EST
    Voting to give Bush the authorization to start a preemptive war.

    What He Said (none / 0) (#216)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:08:14 PM EST
    Is meaningless to me. Were he a Senator at the time he would have been under an entirely different set of pressures. As I have said, considering his position and votes as Senator regarding the war are little different from HRC's, imo he would have voted for the AUMF.

    For the record (none / 0) (#65)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:19:31 PM EST
    I was against the War in Iraq from day 1 as well.  

    I argued loudly and vociferously against it.  Not because I'm a pacifist, because I'm not.  I opposed it because I felt that the reasons being given for invading were bogus.  Chemical weapons are ubiquitous and, generally, speaking not terribly effective.  So all the claims made by the Administration that we needed to take out Hussein before he gives chemical weapons were, IMO, utter hogwash.  

    There were many think tanks that felt the same way.  The thought that there was universal support is something that the people who did support it have drummed up to rationalize their errors.


    Oops (none / 0) (#67)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:19:56 PM EST
    That was supposed to be a response to scribe.

    Sorry, Mr. Wilson IS being terribly honest (none / 0) (#227)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:33:03 PM EST
    "3 years ago he claimed that the intelligence didn't support the war."

    Actually it was 5 years ago, in the spring and summer of 2003.

    As you surely must know, Wilson wasn't in the Senate in October 2002 and didn't advise the Senate that he thought the intelligence was flawed prior to the AUMF vote.

    He made all those machinations and arguments in early 2003, up to and including when he went public with his view on the "manipulated intelligence" in his famous NYT editorial on July 6, 2003.

    So, please tell me again, which part of what Joe Wilson said is not "terribly honest?"

    And while I agree with you that since BO wasn't in the senate in 2002 he shouldn't have to rationalize his vote, neither should Hillary have to defend against his lies about her vote that was made in good faith.

    Finally, she did say, basically, that statement you make in your last line:

    and I quote:

    Well, obviously, I've said many times that, although my vote on the 2002 authorization regarding Iraq was a sincere vote, I would not have voted that way again.

    I would certainly, as president, never have taken us to war in Iraq. And I regret deeply that President Bush waged a preemptive war, which I warned against and said I disagreed with.

    Oh, I know you'll say, well, that's not the apology I want ...

    But you know, flyerhawk, she doesn't owe anyone an apology for voting the way she did.

    If you care to read the posts above that deal with the AUMF, and you put yourself back in that time and mind-frame, and you recognize that the only way to get Sadamm to comply with inspections was to have the credible threat of force that only the AUMF provided, I don't see how you can conclude anything but that it was the right position to take at the time.

    Again, put aside the lies and manipulation of the intelligence that Bush and Co. permitted to be put forth to garner that favorable vote and try to see that it was the only tactic that had a prayer of avoiding the war.

    Again, that Bush never intended to avoid the war is really not something you can hold Hillary or anyone else who voted in favor of the AUMF accountable for.

    Who knew that we had a criminal and a lunatic for a president.


    Well... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:15:56 PM EST
    ...she traveled a lot on diplomatic matters for President Clinton's administration, and I am sure she was paying close attention to those matters while she was in the White House as first lady.  Additionally, she has done a lot of foreign tours while in the senate and, out of necessity, being a senator from New York requires firm knowledge of foreign affairs.  She was opposed to the Vietnam War and she switched her party affiliation over that issue and civil rights.  Additionally, she supported Senator Eugene McCarthy in his anti-war presidential campaign.  She was a prominent critic of the Taliban's treatment of women before that issue really came to the national press in a big way.  She visited Iraq in 2005 and noted that things seemed to be working and praised the democratic elections, and she opposed the surge.  That's just some of what she has done.    

    No problem.. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:24:03 PM EST
    When I read her background before she came to the senate, I see a women destined for greatness that I would have loved to have voted for as president.  Both of them remind me so much of my own parents; attorneys and advocates of social progress.  It is a shame that Iraq is her undoing.  

    Well, gee... (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by AmyinSC on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    Why don't you look at what she has done SINCE SHE WENT TO THE SENATE???  Unlike Obama, she has actually done some real work, gone to her committee meetings, and VOTED!!!  This cavalier dismissal of her work while BIll was in office, as well as no mention of her work as a US Senator is disturbing.  You are completely disregarding years of work, apparently because it doesn't suit your argument.  That's a tad problematic.  If you support Obama, fine - but to dismiss work Clinton has actually DONE because there are so few things Obama has to try and make them more equal is unacceptable.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#103)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:39:57 PM EST
    ...but the problem is I am looking at the most important foreign policy decision she ever faced, and she voted incorrectly.  

     Sorry, you can get all red faced screaming at Senator Obama's supporters, but I was opposed to the war from day one, even as I supported intervention in Afghanistan well before September 11th (and I suspect Senator Clinton did as well).  Were you opposed to the Iraq war on day one?  Or is Iraq just not as big of a deal as other things?  It is fine if it is not a big deal to you, but please be respectful of those of us who consider it the question.  


    Don't be so sure that Clinton.... (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:53:48 PM EST
    ...supporters didn't oppose the war from day one, from before day one. I remember very well what it feels like to be living in that Bizarro world and I admire Obama for speaking out on it. But I jumped that hurdle when I voted for John Kerry in 2004. I can't go back there now.

    Besides, I was opposed to the war from day one and I would make a lousy president. So I don't find that convincing as a candidate's #1 foreign policy qualification.


    I would make a lousy president (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:55:37 PM EST
    my rabid opposition does not qualify me.

    Could you be any worse than Bush? (none / 0) (#144)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:59:07 PM EST
    Indeed... (none / 0) (#205)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:40:42 PM EST
    ...I assume many of her core supporters did oppose the war.  That's why Senator Obama's supporters find the language used on this site so disturbing.  You think we have a cult of personality?  That remains the most crucial leadership vote on foreign policy, whether you want to admit it or not.  

    Look Obama didn't vote.... (none / 0) (#213)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:55:37 PM EST
    ...on this. However crucial it might be it isn't enough to be a deal breaker for me when even Obama himself has said that he doesn't know how he would have voted had he been in the Senate at the time. Yeah, I have heard the rebuttal that he only said that because he was being a good Democrat and supporting his party's nominee at the time (John Kerry) but maybe I would find him more credible if he hadn't been all over the place on this.  

    I can top you on that (none / 0) (#207)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:45:39 PM EST
    I was opposed to the war in Iraq from day one. I was opposed to the war in Afghanistan from day one. I was opposed to the Gulf War from day one.

    The difference is, I can understand her rationale, and the rationale of the 26 other Democrats who voted for the AUMF. And I don't think they honestly thought it was merely a license for Bush to go to war. I can understand how some people could see things differently from me. Bush was going to go to war whether he got that vote or not. It's really ticking me off that some people are trying to blame the Iraq war on Democrats. That was Bush-Cheney's fault, no one else's.


    Opposing... (none / 0) (#214)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:02:46 PM EST
    ...the war in Afghanistan does not really "top" me.  ;-) But while I see your reasoning, I disagree.

    sorry (none / 0) (#223)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:22:35 PM EST
    bad choice of words, but then multi-tasking will do that. ;-)

    If I felt that Obama was significantly different than Clinton on this issue it would be important to me and perhaps enough to overcome my other doubts about him, which are numerous. But I don't think he is. The Palestinian issue is another important one to me but sadly I've seen Obama's pandering just as much as Clinton on that subject, if not more so. Believe me, if I thought there was a chance that he was more progressive on this issue I'd be all for him. I don't.  


    dont count your undoings (none / 0) (#81)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:27:12 PM EST
    before they are undone

    oops... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:28:10 PM EST
    ...woman.  Multitasking really does not one an effective typist.  

    war vote (none / 0) (#63)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:18:24 PM EST
    And just another point. People can correct me if I'm wrong, but when Bush did use the authority congress had given him, as far as I know, Hillary didn't object. I saw a video of her two weeks before the invasion addressing Code Pink (you can find it on youtube), and telling them how sometimes the United States had to take the initiative and act alone.

    Suppose the war had gone well? Suppose we'd found wmd, and installed a stable democracy? Is there anyone who seriously thinks Hillary Clinton wouldn't be taking credit for her vote? She wouldn't be saying she hadn't meant to go to war then. So while Wilson makes a valid point about Obama, he really lets Clinton off the hook more than she deserves.

    Suppose? (none / 0) (#79)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:26:23 PM EST
    Well, why don't we just bomb a few more places just in case.

    22 Democratic Senators (none / 0) (#66)
    by Tano on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:19:46 PM EST
    had the good sense to vote No on the AUMF.

    So it is absurd to argue that any sane and responsible Democrat in Hillary's position would have voted as she did.

    IT WAS NOT ONE SPEECH. Obama consistently held to the same position, before and AFTER the election, explaining it publicly.

    Look, if you think that voting yea was the responsible thing to do at the time, then fine - argue that point. If you think it was a mistake but not a disqualifying one, then fine - argue that point. But to try to dismiss the issue by convincing yourself that Obama would have done the opposite of the position he took is ridiculous. So much of the Clinton defense these days, on so many issues, is to try to find ways to show how Obama is just like her - even when, and especially when, it is a negative point. Therefore, he isn't so special. Therefore vote for hillary. Pretty weak argumentation.

    What Political Risk (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:28:15 PM EST
    Did Obama take for his "consistent position."?

    Dean took risk.  He was attacked by Republicans for his position.

    Gore took risk.  He was attacked by Republicans for his position.

    A lot of anti-war activists, as well as many Democrats were smeared as "surrender monkeys" by Republicans and their mouthpieces for their position.

    So far.  I've never heard of one case where Obama took one iota of criticism for his consistent opposition to the war.

    He somehow managed to avoid that, to be anti-Iraq war and avoid any criticism for being anti-Iraq war at the same time.  Which also would have made him a more polarizing figure in American politics for it.

    Getting to say you've done something brave without any battle scars to show for it is a neat trick.


    re: political risk -- it _is_ a bit startling (none / 0) (#126)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:52:20 PM EST
    It is nevertheless a bit startling to see Clinton's vote in '02 as necessary for her political career and thus excusable (which is what some in this thread have argued), but not accord the same leeway vis-a-vis NAFDA for a primary in Ohio.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:02:48 PM EST
    Clinton understood the political risks both for and against her vote.

    I think she did what she thought was right based on her understanding of the tools a president would need to bring a diplomatic process to resolution.

    I'd still like to know why Obama has enjoyed all of the political benefits of his position, but none of the political risk.

    Personally I think because he made sure that his position would not be advertised until the time was right.

    To always say "no" on obscure shows like Charlie Rose, and even then couch it like this, "but I can understand why some might have said 'yes.'"


    so what? (none / 0) (#130)
    by Tano on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:54:07 PM EST
    who is claiming he did something BRAVE?

    He did something WISE.

    Hey, I move about in circles where the war was unpopular from the start. I was against the war. It was not brave of me to take that stand. Does that undermine the sincerity of my position?

    And if braveness is the criterion here, then Hillary sure doesnt earn anything for her vote. Everyone knew that Bush was determined to go to war (yes, EVERYONE in DC, at least - which is why Hillary's defense that she was just voting for coercive diplomacy is so dishonest). MAybe she sincerely thought it was the right thing to do. But with the rules established around here, that everything that Obama ever does or says must be viewed in the most cynical light, then it is only fair to assume that Hillary voted for the war for one reason only - that she knew it would happen anyway, she knew that she would be running for president, she knew she needed to look tough. And her personal ambition counted more than any consequence for the the Iraq, for our troops, or for the world in general.


    Um, almost every Obama supporter (none / 0) (#135)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:55:38 PM EST
    claims he was brave for making the speech.
    If you are the exception, kudos.

    Clinton (none / 0) (#161)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:04:20 PM EST
    Has a lot of battle scars for her vote.

    She was forced to take a position on the floor of the Senate.


    So the other Democratic Senators that (none / 0) (#157)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:03:07 PM EST
    voted the same way as Hillary were insane and irresponsible?

    And whatever he said then and whatever he says now he was not in the United States Senate to vote.


    There goes BO's endorsements (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:09:40 PM EST
    from those insane and irresponsible Senators.

    Insane? (none / 0) (#181)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:13:43 PM EST
    No. Irresponsible, yes.  

     My enthusiasm in 2004 was not for Senator Kerry, it was against President Bush.

     We had this debate before in 2004, remember?  Those of us who wanted to send an anti-war candidate to the White House rallied around Dean and Clark, but no..."cooler" heads prevailed and we sent Senator Kerry.  

     Yup, irresponsible.  I do like General Clark, though.  I do not agree with his endorsement, but I would have voted for him if he ran again.    


    Easy One (none / 0) (#119)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:49:14 PM EST
    just read the statements of the more than two dozen of military officials who are supporting her. Or look up her record of service on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Or her experience as First Lady.

    You can start here.

    why (none / 0) (#182)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:14:34 PM EST
    does stating the truth about Obama equal being "intent on bringing him down"?
    perhaps they/we are concerned about getting things out while we are still in a primary and before we are stuck with him in the general?
    time is getting short.

    Did I miss something? (none / 0) (#141)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:57:39 PM EST
    I keep seeing references to A NIE on this thread.  Is this the NIE that we now know existed but what was not shown to anyone or was this NIE actually shown to the Congress?

    The NIE that was made available to Congress (none / 0) (#209)
    by kaybeel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:48:06 PM EST
    but that Hillary Clinton did not read.

    Which makes Wilson's argument that Bush's lies on intelligence mislead her.  She has said:

    "The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration," she said. "It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.

    oops (none / 0) (#210)
    by kaybeel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:51:50 PM EST
    I meant to say it makes Wilson's statement that Bush's lies mislead her a little tricky.

    Hillary believed the intelligence from her husband's administration and did not need to be persuaded by Bush. I certainly don't think Wilson wants to wander into the Bill Clinton lied territory, but he is perilously close to doing so.


    He is responding to everything McCain (none / 0) (#142)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 01:58:02 PM EST
    says these days. I don't see how he can avoid commenting on this.

    he has! (none / 0) (#147)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:00:17 PM EST
    He's said he's against privatization.  It's on his website.  As well as the following: "In the midst of the 2005 debate over Social Security privatization, Obama gave a major speech at the National Press Club forcefully arguing against privatization.  He also repeatedly voted against Republican amendments that aimed to privatize Social Security or cut benefits."

    I don't see this as a big issue in the primary, however -- presuming HRC is also against privatization.

    not trying to start an argument but (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:09:25 PM EST
    he also voted exactly the way Hillary voted on every important war vote since he was a senator and has convinced many he is and always has been anti war.
    I will need emphatic and recurring denials.

    Any rational voter should think as you do (none / 0) (#178)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:11:58 PM EST
    .. about EITHER candidate.

    He has also said all options are (none / 0) (#153)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:01:09 PM EST
    on the table.

    cite please? (none / 0) (#176)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:11:44 PM EST
    that he says all options are on the table?

    "Privatization" (none / 0) (#156)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:02:55 PM EST
    is the easy one.  Even some Republicans who want to kill SS claim to be against "privatization," because it is politically unpopular.  But in reality they're all in favor of Bush's proposal for private accounts, which would lead to phase-out of SS.

    all in favor? Evidence? (none / 0) (#174)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    You wrote:
    But in reality they're all in favor of Bush's proposal for private accounts

    Either you or I are clueless on this.  It might be me, but I don't think so, as I just brought a quote about Obama voting against this.

    So . . . can you please show me a source that says HRC or Obama is "in favor of Bush's proposal for private accounts?"


    I apologize (none / 0) (#212)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:54:42 PM EST
    for being unclear.  I was referring to the Republicans who piously claim to be against "privatization."

    If you remember back to the time when Josh Marshall was trying to get everyone in Congress on record concerning Bush's proposal, this was the standard bamboozlement line employed by many Republicans with their constituents.  "Oh gosh, of course I'm not in favor of privatization."  But what they didn't say is that they didn't consider Bush's proposal to be privatization.

    I wasn't accusing Clinton or Obama of anything.


    thanks for clarifying! n/t (none / 0) (#222)
    by A DC Wonk on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:20:08 PM EST
    Commenter "New World" (none / 0) (#203)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:38:18 PM EST
    is previously banned commenter Wicked Messinger. New World's comments, 14 today, have been deleted and the account erased. Sorry if that results in this thread not making sense as several responded to her comments.

    Off topic comments (none / 0) (#206)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:43:52 PM EST
    about social security deleted. This thread is about Joseph Wilson's article on Obama's foreign policy experience and judgment.

    Save it for Bush, Mr Wilson! (none / 0) (#208)
    by The GrandPanjandrum on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:47:13 PM EST
    Mr. Wilson writes:
    As a consequence of Obama's dereliction of duty...a feckless administration has had absolutely no oversight [in Afghanistan].
    Because Congressional oversight has been such an effective correction to the excesses and blunders of the Bush Administration? Accusing Senator Obama of "dereliction of duty" for pursuing the Presidency, and saying he has "abandoned his post," Mr. Wilson vividly illustrates the poisonous and insidious influence of the ultimate Washington Insiders on our National Politics. Why cannot Wilson make his points by engaging Obama's ideas and policy statements? Why must he attack Obama's patriotism and commitment to duty? These are the tactics of political insiders employed during the dark days of McCarthy and perfected by the likes of Karl Rove. A very special thanks to Joe Wilson for demonstrating another reason to vote for the change that Barack Obama represents.

    Okay now that's funny cause... (5.00 / 1) (#215)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:03:11 PM EST
    ...Joe Wilson has unloaded a truckload of whoop-ass on Bush Cheney.  

    obama would have duck the issue (none / 0) (#217)
    by timber on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:09:40 PM EST

    Wilson: More of the same (none / 0) (#218)
    by AdrianLesher on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:10:03 PM EST
    Wilson has been on the attack against Obama since at least December.

    Since then he has written a February 12 anti-Obama piece in the Baltimore Sun.

    Wilson's attacks on Obama are as predictable as the sunrise, so why is another one news?

    Did Obama vote no on Kyle-Lieberman? (none / 0) (#221)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:18:14 PM EST

    He didn't vote at all (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by tree on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:24:55 PM EST
    Comments closing here (none / 0) (#229)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:42:59 PM EST
    over 200, thanks for your thoughts.

    AUMF 2002 Vote in Senate (none / 0) (#230)
    by plf1953 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:47:25 PM EST
    Since everyine seems to have a different set of numbers, I'm publishing this from Wiki, assuming its correct:

    Vote on the AUMF Against Iraq Resolution of 2002

    United States Senate

    Party              Ayes Nays No Vote
    Republican          48      1     0
    Democratic          29    21     0
    Independent         0      1     0
                                ---    ---    ---
    TOTALS                77    23     0