Biden Echoes McCain On Russia-Georgia Conflict

John McCain was ridiculed by some (I think it is a ridiculous statement myself) when he said about the Russia-Georgia conflict:

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.

(Emphasis supplied.) Upon his return from Georgia, the likely Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Joe Biden said:

I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism[.]

(Emphasis supplied.) That sounds pretty ridiculous to me too. And in a Mouse That Roared moment, Biden came back wanting to hand Georgia a billion dollars for its attempt to take South Ossetia back by force:

When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia . . .

Just brilliant. So the Obama/Biden ticket will be like McCain on this. Just brilliant.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    are you really surprised? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by sancho on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:13:50 AM EST
    in terms of foreign policy, there is at this point little difference between the two parties. different people get to come to the table, neogotiate, represent so-called US interests. different contractors are used, etc. different people make more money and glory (or not). but the US is going to invade the same people and set up "war" by proxy or otherwise in the same places regradless of which party wins. this is why obama supporters who voted against hillary because of the AUMF are going to be disappointed in an obama presidency, should he win. this is also why cindy sheehan is running against pelosi.

    And this is why (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:17:44 AM EST
    I prefer the "push-me, pull-you"-ness of divided government over one-party government.

    At least the Dems and Repubs hate each other enough to fret about what's happening before singing kumbaya and going along with it.

    With single-party leadership, there isn't even fake accountability.


    Obama is a master copy cat (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Prabhata on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:20:02 AM EST
    That's what he did with Hillary.  Made all his policies to mimic her policies and then proclaim that their policies were the same.  Now he is doing the same with McCain.  Some call McCain McSame, but what I see is BOSame.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by davnee on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:15:34 AM EST
    Even if Biden is not the pick, he's still going to be viewed at this point as an influence on Obama's foreign policy thinking.  So now Obama is playing follow the leader - the leader being McCain.  And so I ask why should I vote for the padawan in these scariest times since the cold war, when I can go ahead and pull the lever for the jedi master?

    I'm tempted to see it as an offer of a bribe (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:17:11 AM EST
    to Georgia so they'll give up on South Ossetia. I think $1B would be a bargain for that.

    Wishful thinking (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:31:09 AM EST
    It is a TERRIBLE sign. Just terrible.

    Please (2.00 / 1) (#155)
    by JThomas on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:34:50 PM EST
    inform us what exactly Biden should have said?
    As far as this being the most significant event in Europe politically since 1990...what would you say dwarfs it? How many armed conflicts between two sovereign nations in or bordering europe have there been since 1990?
    I think Biden said exactly what you have to say when you tour an ally after an invasion...you do not poke a stick in their eye at this moment.

    IMO (none / 0) (#156)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    Very little.

    Terrible? (none / 0) (#165)
    by 0 politico on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 06:36:43 PM EST
    Is that from a politicAL campaign perspective, or from a foreign policy perspective?

    They Can't Give Up (none / 0) (#108)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:22:43 AM EST
    on South Ossetia, if they do, then the Russian border would be 50 miles (or something like that) from Tiblisi.  South Ossetia is Georgia's buffer zone.  So Georgia is going to be determined to keep it whether the Ossetians want it or not (and I love how despite all the talk of democracy and self determination, none of the "serious" people seem to care what the Ossetians want).

    Priorities (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:26:20 AM EST
    When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia

    Meanwhile, Repairing U.S. bridges would cost $140 billion.

    1 billion in emergency assistance to Georgia?  Why don't these people care about domestic issues?

    Profound why? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:30:26 AM EST
    Suppose instead, the West says NO to Georgia and the Ukraine in NATO. Then what bad things happen?

    Give me an argument for WHY this is profound. Tell WHAT tectonic plates have moved.

    Let's stop talking in cliches and instead in realities.

    Umm (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:46:23 AM EST
    We keep Ukraine

    Who is "we"?

    I am sure that Ukrainian's would like to keep themselves.

    BTW, Russia is just as much a democracy as Georgia.  They have elections and stuff, too.  The cold war is over.  Let the brainwashing wear off...
      The Russians love their children too.


    What do you think Russia is at this time? (none / 0) (#163)
    by Romberry on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 05:04:15 PM EST
    Do you think that Russia is a dictatorship? Communist? A plutocracy? Do you think that they do not hold actual elections? Enlighten me. What is Russia today?

    Yeah, I'm sure Putin has been (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by vicndabx on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:50:50 AM EST
    plotting to take back all those former republics by force.  Seriously, you really want to talk Democracy?  How democratic was it Georgia to attach it's own citizens?

    sp - attack (none / 0) (#76)
    by vicndabx on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:51:12 AM EST
    A Russian satellite? (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:45:18 AM EST
    So in YOUR mind the only way to be a democracy NOT in Russia's orbit is to be a member of NATO?

    This is crazy talk. Just crazy talk.


    And Georgia Will Always Be In Russia's Orbit (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:08:59 AM EST
    Geography has ensured that.  There's no way the U.S. would ignore Georgia if it were here.  We've been playing with Latin America for centuries.  Can't intervene enough down there.

    Of course, it's perfectly fine for us to put missiles in Poland because the Russians are evil.  But somehow I don't think we'd be okay if they put missiles in Canada.  It's been more than 40 years and we're still punishing Cuba.  

    Here's the thing about Russia - they aren't crazy.  They can be dealt with.  But not if we act crazy.  Which we are.  The sad truth is that right now, we're the crazy superpower run amuck.  If anything, the Russians are trying to step in a restrain us.  What?  We thought the rest of the world would sit back and let us play whatever games we wanted?  We really are a bunch of children.


    Um, so is Russia (none / 0) (#107)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:21:02 AM EST
    to the extent that either are real democracies.

    My first reaction was that Biden (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:31:41 AM EST
    was trying too hard to look vice-presidential and shore up Obama's foreign policy cred, and over-reached - and that it won't be the last time.

    My second reaction was to think that the surest way to make sure people stay home in November is to make the parties so indistinguishable from each other on these kinds of issues that they end up thinking it doesn't matter who they vote for.

    My third thought was, what are the chances Biden will really stick his foot in it either just before or just after Obama puts him on the ticket, throwing the whole thing into chaos, thus ushering in the era of WJSHS (What Joe Should Have Said) to go along with WORM.

    This was vetted by Obama (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32:59 AM EST
    You know what's funny.... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:38:45 AM EST
    in a sick sort of way.  The same boyz and girlz that were screaming "racist, racist" at any and everything Bill or Hillary said, are now adoring the same Joe Biden who made the ridiculous claim about How well spoken Barrack was, how articulate....(shockingly) this AA was, as if a well spoken black man is some kind of anomaly.  Meanwhile, the same how dare he crowd (about anything and everything Bill said) has selective memory along with the ability to distort in order to attack.

    Didn't he also call him "clean?" (none / 0) (#146)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:08:18 PM EST
    ...that was more offensive IMHO than the articulate part.

    true, and there's more: (none / 0) (#159)
    by DFLer on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:16:01 PM EST
    from JackandJillPolitics blog, a black political blog none too happy about a Biden VP pick.  

    Why Biden's Racist Behind Ain't Gonna Be VP

    (The author cites the above quote and goes on to cite others, with vid clips from Biden.)

    Biden brags about his strong relationship with the growing Indian community, saying: "You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian Accent. Oh, I'm not joking!"

    Too bad he didn't say that with Apu's accent. Really, is his racist comedic timing up to the task?


        Listen to Sen. Joe Biden charm the mostly Republican audience at the Columbia (SC) Rotary Club:
        Delaware, he noted, was a "slave state that fought beside the North. That's only because we couldn't figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way."
        The crowd loved it. [this is from 2006 or so-dfler]


    If this guy were a Republican, Democrats would be hanging him out to dry. All he needs is a Confederate flag to complete the picture. We're talking major Macaca moment potential here. And yes, as hilarious for George Allen as that was, is Obama ready to sign up a VP with a record of racism comments, including one aimed straight at himself during the primaries? I doubt it.

    the repubs won't stay home. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:16:05 AM EST
    however many dems will. i wonder when biden will join us under the bus.

    Not every FP issue that arises this (none / 0) (#93)
    by brodie on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:07:46 AM EST
    cycle or any previous one results in a dramatic difference betw the parties.

    Except for Biden's cold war language of semi-hyperbole, mostly  it's been McCain who from the outset has overreacted with overheated and even dangerous rhetoric.  Nothing Biden said quite matches McC's initial stupid response of "We're all Georgians now" or JM's attitude of wanting to almost directly confront the Russians in hostile ways over there.

    THe campaign will offer an opportunity to flesh out the significant attitudinal differences betw the candidates -- our measured and level-headed guy vs their hotheaded supposedly wiser and more experienced one.

    Politically though, in general, our side cannot be seen to be taking too much of a sanguine attitude about Russia's aggression -- but fortunately so far no major figure for the Dems has yet stepped out of line or crossed it à la Cold Warrior McCain.

    Biden still looks strong for the VP pick.


    It's a profound development (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32:59 AM EST
    when Russia became very angry and retaliated when Georgia invaded South Osettia?  Russians were killed and Russia reacted very strongly.  Maybe too strongly, but it is hardly some kind of attempt at regional expansion.

    Think of how many times Israel has launched mini-wars against it's neighbors in retaliation.  It is a common reaction by states that have the power to act.

    Cliches (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:02:19 AM EST
    Do you have something real to say here? BTW, to some Israel is an imperial power.

    The West Bank anyone? But actually, Israel acts much like Russia, it does not like to be threatened, so it creates defense buffers.


    Everything you have said.... (none / 0) (#164)
    by Romberry on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 05:06:30 PM EST
    ...is "real"? Then defend what you have said. Back it up with concrete facts.

    Yeah.... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:57:20 AM EST
    they are just one of our tentacles in the ME.  

    They use our weapons and our money...may as well be considered an imperial power.


    Honestly (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by CST on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:42:51 AM EST
    I am less disturbed by the money, which at least seems somewhat benevolent in nature, and more disturbed by the "Russia must face consequences" part of Biden's speech.  What exactly does he propose doing?  We are in no position to "punish" Russia.

    russia can punish us also. we need (none / 0) (#102)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:18:18 AM EST
    some reality in foreign policy. please leave the testerone out of foreign policy.

    Obama and McCain (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:43:38 AM EST
    One of the things that worries me about Obama is his tendency to withstand pressure from the right on national security/military questions.  

    Whereas McCain may be somewhat more likely than Obama to initially seek/consider military solutions, its seems to me that there is a strong possibility that as President Obama could be bullied into deploying military force in instances where McCain would refuse to do so.  

    Every so often, a "military mom" shows up here and comments (usually as a non sequiter in a thread) about how we need to vote for Obama because McCain represents a threat to her son's life.  I don't buy it -- I just don't see McCain deploying troops irresponsibly.  But I can see Obama doing so for political reasons -- to demonstrate his "strength" and "resolve" when it is questioned by right-wingers.  And I also think that Obama is far more likely than McCain to be "challenged" by international bad guy who will be trying to see how much they can get away with.

    Really?????? (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:47:07 AM EST
    You don't see McCain deploying troops irresponsibly?

    I want some of what you're smoking.


    Here's how I see it. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by dk on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:51:32 AM EST
    The threshold question is whether McCain would start a Bush-like preventive war somewhere.  If the answer to that is yes, well then that's a big, big problem.  But if the answer is no, I don't think that a McCain administration and an Obama administration would differ much on foreign policy.  Foreign policy tends to be driven by circumstances beyond the control of any U.S. administration (i.e. flareups in whatever parts of the world happen to flare up, that are quite often not the ones everyone would predict during the campaign).  McCain will act on it because he believes in looking tough.  Obama will act on it because he's afraid of not looking inexperienced.  The Obama/McCain equivalence on Georgia is a pretty obvious sign of things to come, it seems to me.

    Well (none / 0) (#84)
    by CST on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:58:37 AM EST
    McCain did give a speech advocating pre-emptive war.

    Obama sure doesn't win any points on this one though.  Still waiting to see if he mentions "punishing Russia" before I get too worried.  At that point, all bets are off foreign policy wise.


    McCain would be somewhat checked... (none / 0) (#158)
    by Romberry on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:43:10 PM EST
    ...by a Democratic congress. On the other hand, I expect a Democratic congress to act as no check at all on Obama. Where Obama leads, they will follow.

    Sign me up for that "push-me-pull-you" government.

    If the Dem nominee were a Gore, Dean or Clinton, I'd not be concerned. With Obama, I am concerned.


    oops... (none / 0) (#63)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    the first sentence in the above should read "his tendency to NOT withstand pressure..."

    there's nothing like forgetting to include a negation to completely screw up your comments! ;)


    Why do we.... (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:47:14 AM EST
    have to get involved again?

    No matter what we do we'll make enemies that will bite us in the arse in 20 years...so why get involved?  Let Russia and Georgia sort it out...when you stick your nose in every fight eventually you get clocked in the nose.

    We've been the world's policeman for 50+ years, and a crooked cop at that...time to retire and collect that pension:)

    Well, we didn't get involved in (none / 0) (#147)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    Afghanistan until there was no one left but the Taliban to ally with and that didn't work out very well for us in the end at all.  I don't think we can or should avoid getting involved, but I do think we could do a far better job of determining how we get involved and in defining our role in these situations.

    Saying that "We're all Georgians now" is exactly the wrong way of going about trying to resolve a conflict if we don't want to be engaged in a military conflict - picking a side like that cuts off our options and is pretty foolish when we know that this whole conlfict is much more complicated than the black and white good and evil world view that many in our leadership have.  I won't even bother go into how dumb it is when we don't have the military or financial resources to back it up.

    But our problem is that in an election year, there is no room for anything but black and white analysis.  No politician on the national scene has the guts to try to explain to the American people that no one player in this is "good" and no one player in this is "good" or for that matter that there are actually more than two players in this conflict.  Just like no one wanted to talk about the numerous factions in Iraq.  Nobody ever talks about the Kurds...


    you have a point there and i also (none / 0) (#161)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 04:13:44 PM EST
    remember a certain advisor to carter and now obama who helped screw up afghanistan more than it is now.

    you have a point there and i also (none / 0) (#162)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 04:13:55 PM EST
    remember a certain advisor to carter and now obama who helped screw up afghanistan more than it is now.

    kdog, you are on the money! (none / 0) (#160)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 04:12:22 PM EST
    Trying to out-McCain McCain (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:51:36 AM EST
    we are sooo screwed in November.

    So Obama Is Emphasizing Foreign Affairs (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by BDB on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:52:58 AM EST
    and sounding a lot like John McCain (when he's not joining McCain at a faith off to the GOP Christianist base), what could go wrong?

    This is like watching the Kerry campaign all over again.  There's just a bit more suspense because the GOP is even weaker than Bush was in 2004.  Not that that should be a surprise given Obama and his coalition of losers advising him (Kerry, Daschle, Dean).  Perhaps one of these days he'll listen to the man who actually got himself elected President twice or at least that man's advisor - it's the economy, stupid.

    I think the invasion of Iraq (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Prabhata on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:03:02 AM EST
    Was the most significant event since the fall of the USSR.

    i see the dems not having any (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:37:59 AM EST
    confidence in their positions or beliefs. they seem to be running around looking for whatever mask they think will fit them that day. it makes no difference to them that it is totally different than the one they had on yesterday. i don't see a soul in this party anymore. what do they stand for? whatever they think the polls say that day is the answer. the result of this type of thinking is failure.

    Likely Democratic VP nominee? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:10:45 AM EST
    I followed your link, but it's not clear to me how this demonstrates Biden to be a more likely choice than any of the other (mostly dull) names being floated.

    Halperin says he knows it is Biden (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:28:27 AM EST
    with recent events (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:39:18 AM EST
    it makes the most sense.

    And why do we think (none / 0) (#157)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:44:07 PM EST
    ... Halperin knows.

    I thought the real war was in Afghanistan (none / 0) (#2)
    by lambert on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:13:47 AM EST
    But now it's in Georgia?

    This is confusing!

    Afganistan is hard (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:17:38 AM EST
    we need a new war.

    This is un-EFFing- Believable (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:28:06 AM EST
    Georgia's the new Swing State (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    Solution: Make John Lewis Ambassador to Georgia?

    You get a 5 (none / 0) (#100)
    by cmugirl on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    For combining two unrelated current events and being funny.

    Heh (none / 0) (#4)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:15:01 AM EST
    The $1 billion thing is just out of left field.  I'm sure the public will just love that during a recession.

    As for the significance of the overall situation, Biden seems a bit over the top to me, but I think it's important to keep our initial conclusions flexible in light of what has actually been going on with the Russian withdrawal in the last several days.

    I mean, I'm inclined to look at this the same way as BTD, but when Clark (love the guy) and Biden (not infallible, but knows an awful lot) both express opinions contrary to mine, I have to engage in a little self-doubt.

    What part do you doubt? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:26:16 AM EST
    The only way this becomes a significant event is if the US bungles the situation by making it more serious than it is.

    Clark and Biden are dead wrong and nothing they have said makes sense.

    I really dislike credentialism. I read the arguments - no way this should be a big deal period. Hell, the US should let Europe decide how important it is. In the end, what are we going to do?


    Clark = NATO (none / 0) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:38:54 AM EST
    so his response should be expected.  Wrong, but expected nonetheless.

    we can talk a great deal but we have (none / 0) (#113)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    in reality few choices. our miltary is broken. we are essentially broke. maybe it is high time we looked at reality and acted accordingly. our intrastructure is broken. america and americans need the money.

    "Serious people" (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    told us the Iraq Debacle wasa good idea. I am sick of empty platitudes and "serious people."

    If you can not articulate your point, then do not even try. I'll go read the "Serious people" you think are right if you provide links.


    You wrote (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:10:30 AM EST
    a country who posed no threats to them or neighboring countries

    Ok.  Enough.  We need to know, do you at least acknowledge that Georgia started this by invading South Ossetia?  Because that sounds like a threat.


    South Ossetia (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:51:06 AM EST
    does not want to be part of Georgia.  It has never wanted to be part of Georgia.  It was semi-autonomous during the Soviet era.  It wants to be part of Russia now.  It is Georgia that is trying to force South Ossetia to be part of it against their will.

    There's ugliness on all sides.  SO militias were lobbing shells into Georgia and civilians got killed.  Georgia invaded SO and lots more civilians got killed.  Then Russia moved in to stop Georgia from destroying SO, which has a sizable population of ethnic Russians, btw, and more civilians got killed.

    The Russian army is a blunt instrument.  It does not do nuance, and it does not do half-way measures.  It also has very poor command-and-control and hideously demoralized and undisciplined conscripts who not infrequently take their frustrations out on the local population.

    All three parties to this are, from their own perspective, doing the morally right and just things.  From my perspective, Georgia is doing the least right thing of the three, but that's not the point.

    Russia is not a threat to the U.S. unless we try to bully them into acting against what they perceive as their national interest.  Russia is also not a threat to Poland or Georgia as long as those countries behave with a teensy bit of common sense.  They are on Russia's borders and that is inescapable for them.  There are things they cannot do, like host U.S. missiles, because of it.  That's life.  Russia will leave them alone if they behave like good neighbors.


    With a nod of approval (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:13:30 PM EST
    I give gyrfalcon the "comment of the day" award.

    Yes (none / 0) (#92)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:06:27 AM EST
    I agree with you here.  This whole Georgia thing has been the return of the "serious people," not that the lineup is exactly the same.  The blogs keep popping up with these hysterical diaries about how liberals need to stand with Georgia and be strong on national security and not reflexively anti-war and all the same blah blah blah.  So I have a very visceral reaction to all of that.

    I don't think I'm guilty of credentialism, by the way.  All I'm saying is that when these guys disagree with me, I'm going to think a little more deeply about what I might be missing.  That's all.


    Bidfen voted for the Iraq War (none / 0) (#103)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:18:35 AM EST
    His "knowledge" did not help him much there.

    Excuse me, if you have nothing to say but "serious people say" then just link to the "serious people" and I will read what they have to say.

    You clearly have nothing to say except "Serious people say."


    Georgia is not (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:58:21 AM EST
    a "Western interest."  That's absurd.

    You've totally forgotten that the cold war went in both directions.  Poland is paranoid for good reason about Russia.  Russia is paranoid for good reason about U.S. missiles on its borders.

    "Russian bear" is a pretty good metaphor, actually.  Like a bear, it will leave you alone if you don't try to threaten it.  But if you poke it with a sharp stick or get between it and its offspring, it loses its temper.


    Wow (none / 0) (#138)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:58:37 AM EST
    50 years of anti-Communist/anti-Russian paranoid propaganda sure did it's job.

    It's not worth arguing.  It's straight back to the cold war for some people.  I've moved beyond that and find it useless to fall back into that tragic mindset.

    Look, over there:  There's a bear in the woods!


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#124)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:45:46 AM EST
    Joe Biden did not say it.

    I think Biden just lost the VP spot... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Shainzona on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:17:48 AM EST
    with his billion dollar idea.  BO's list gets shorter and shorter as the days wear on.

    I think he'll have to turn to Pelosi to take the spot....can you imagine???????


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cmugirl on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:24:26 AM EST
    This means he's in.  No one would be making this statement now without Obama's approval - epseically not one who's in the running

    Agree with you (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:26:50 AM EST
    This is Obama talking come Thursday.

    Sounds like it (none / 0) (#23)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:28:11 AM EST
    Definitely (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:28:54 AM EST
    Yuck (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32:10 AM EST
    I hope it works but I have serious doubts.

    Side benefit (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    Unless John Kerry wants it, Russ Feingold is next in line to be Foreign Relations Chairman.

    Under what scenario would John Kerry (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by dk on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:41:49 AM EST
    not want Foreign Relations?  And people think PUMAs are blinded by wishful thinking about the convention next week.

    He's already chairman (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:45:42 AM EST
    of a full committee. Though you're right--he'd probably give that up in a New York minute.

    kerry never passed a mike (none / 0) (#110)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    where he didn't want to stop. i can't see his passing a plumb like this by and letting finegold have it. personally i pray finegold gets it.

    Who knows? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:35:16 AM EST
    The Nightmare Scenario (none / 0) (#12)
    by bmc on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:21:45 AM EST

    The stuff of nightmares.

    In fact, at this point, I am thoroughly convinced that Obama/Clinton is the only ticket that will give Dems sweet dreams of victory in November.


    Heh (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    I cannot imagine!  Pelosi seems about as likely to me as Cindy Sheehan.

    I don't know if this will be a dealbreaker for Biden's VP chances, but I think it is a telling incident in any scenario: either Biden cleared this whole statement with the Obama campaign first, which would be telling if Obama is okay with it, or else he's just offering his opinion on a freelance basis, which is a good test of Obama's patience with freelancing since that's basically what Joe Biden is like on foreign policy.


    The reverse of a dealbreaker (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:27:34 AM EST
    The confirmation that Biden is the VP is what it is.

    Poor Jeralyn if that's the case.... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Maria Garcia on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:12:15 PM EST
    ...she won't be able to enjoy the convention in her own home town.

    or maybe not (none / 0) (#14)
    by NJDem on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:23:18 AM EST

    "We must help Georgia rebuild what has been destroyed," Obama said during a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention. "That is why I'm proud to join my friend, Senator Joe Biden, in calling for an additional $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for the people of Georgia."


    Remind me again (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:47:30 AM EST
    who's campaign manager is a lobbiest for Georgia?  Hard to keep track.

    Can we rebuild (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Nadai on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:53:39 AM EST
    New Orleans first?

    Ah (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:27:09 AM EST
    Did not even have to wait to Thursday.

    Maybe all this is why Chuck Todd, (none / 0) (#109)
    by zfran on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:24:18 AM EST
    as someone said here this morning, reported that the veep announcement might not be wednesday, but over the weekend. It's still not a done deal!@! We'll see!!!

    Biden on Steroids (none / 0) (#11)
    by bmc on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:19:41 AM EST
    Sigh. Biden's comments may be designed to show muscular foreign policy vision of Democrats, but doesn't it just highlight how weak Obama's initial statements were in hindsight? Is Biden really trying to be helpful here? I'm not sure that's what he achieved.

    Could it be that (none / 0) (#6)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:17:00 AM EST
    because there was a competent President in office during the various Balkan conflicts that people didn't consider it "significant"?

    According to Wikipedia, the insignificant conflicts in the former Yugoslavia resulted in 140,000+ dead; thousands missing; over 1,000,000 left homeless.

    And let's not forget that insignificant thing called "ethnic cleansing".


    "Concern" means trheaten (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:03:00 AM EST
    to you.

    I can assure you that (none / 0) (#49)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:38:43 AM EST
    my head does not need to be examined - at least not because of this reasoning.

    The Balkans are "small beer"?  You do know what happened there, right?  War and ethnic cleansing with threats by the Russians, Turks, and others to intervene because of ethnic and religious ties?

    BTW, Ever hear of Archduke Ferdinand?  


    This is an example (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    of how what I believe is true will start to take some precedence over my inclination to criticize Obama.  First of all, I know nothing about this conflict.  My comment, mileage may vary, is simply just to point out that how biden and McCain choose to talk about something is not sufficient indication that they will address the issue in the same manner.

    To the extent rhetoric shapes political and policy destiny, I can agree it doesn't appear at first to be a step in the right direction.

    We do know biden likes to hear himself talk and likes to believe what he talks about is, for that moment, the most important thing in the world.

    Obama wanted him to say this (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:34:19 AM EST
    but that doesn't exclude the possibility (none / 0) (#81)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:55:46 AM EST
    that biden also believes his statement is true.

    But no it hadn't occured to me that they are already acting as a ticket.


    How did we get (none / 0) (#27)
    by Lahdee on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:30:04 AM EST
    so stupid and seemingly naive about our international relations? Is it the Fox News effect; the dumbing down of 'merica, or the absolutely pitiful/disgraceful behavior of the Bush Administration and it's flunkies or what?
    Hep me, I'm falling.

    Here's a question (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:33:40 AM EST
    where is that progressive foreign policy we were promised?

    probably in a ditch somewhere (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    with a bullet in its head along with the progressive domestic policy we were promised.

    with the snows of yestercampaign... (none / 0) (#55)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:40:25 AM EST
    Same place (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:46:34 AM EST
    as UHC and most other progressive issues - waylaid by cowardice.

    Anti War? (none / 0) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:31:04 AM EST
    Obama is going to disappoint a lot of the anti war people in this country. It was easy to say you were against Iraq when he no vote and only had to consider your state district. It's a totally different situation at a national level.

    The national Democratic Party is so afraid of being percieved as weak that they'll say anything to out muscle the Republican's.

    Why not use this situation to blast the Republican's on their complete failure in international diplomacy?

    What will The Nation say? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32:33 AM EST
    And I am a Centrist Hawk. I just can't believe the stupidity of the policy now being embraced.

    The Nation will say that (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:36:29 AM EST
    if this is Obama speaking through Biden, or at least Obama-approved, it's brilliant; we just have to be patient and wait for it to be revealed to those of us who aren't quite able to see it just yet...

    [Assuming you meant the magazine and not the country]


    heh (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:37:07 AM EST
    the nation's track record on predicting (none / 0) (#154)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:18:34 PM EST
    leaves a lot room for error.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32:25 AM EST
    Definitely don't think this is nearly as significant as they are making out.  I guess throwing money at a problemm is better than throwing missles/bombs.  1 Billion seems way too high.  How does this compare to giving for natural disasters and the like?  That would be my "standard" I guess.

    I kinda liked Joe Biden till I started visiting (none / 0) (#41)
    by vicndabx on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:33:43 AM EST
    this site.  He at least had it right, IMO, when it came to foreign policy.  But publicly proposing $1B be spent any place else but here in America is suicide.  I know John McCain's doing the same thing, but at least from what I've been unable to find, he isn't publicly talking about how much we should spend.  The $$$ is what resonates w/the average American.  These guys are really proving to be inept at running a presidential campaign.

    BTW (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:34:26 AM EST
    Even Sam Nunn is sounding more reasonable on this. . .

    Sam Nunn for VP!!! (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:37:03 AM EST
    Seriously, this is common sense.

    Which is sadly missing now from EVERYONE.


    Obama-Nunn (none / 0) (#73)
    by mogal on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:50:11 AM EST
    That's the ticket!

    That is not a particularly good sign. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:38:19 AM EST
    And down the rabbit hole we go...

    Obama is whatever you need or (none / 0) (#57)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:41:18 AM EST
    want him to be, didn't you know?  He's the blank slate upon which you can write your hopes and dreams; unfortunately, McCain may be the eraser.

    Biden....hmmmm. Didn't he actually (none / 0) (#59)
    by Shainzona on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:41:55 AM EST
    run for POTUS and no body wanted him?  So now we're stuck with him and his comb-over as VP so that he can run for POTUS in 2012/2016?

    Doesn't do a whole lot for me!  What's wrong with this picture?

    Hey, what's wrong with comb-overs! (none / 0) (#119)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:35:53 AM EST
    Many of the men in my life have them.

    However, none of them are Biden (thankfully).


    Same with Iran (none / 0) (#72)
    by candideinnc on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:48:38 AM EST
    This was predictable.  When Obama was offered the opportunity to show signs of moderation and diplomacy in his handling of the threats of Iran, his immediate response was Repug-like saber rattling.  Is it a surprise one of his most prominent VP candidates follows suit?

    FISA, blurring the lines of separation of church and state, anti-gay preachers, no universal health care, "everything is on the table with Social Security""--I have voted in every state and national election for forty years, and I am so galled by the Obamacrats this year, I am feeling more and more like staying home.

    it is profound (none / 0) (#80)
    by AlSmith on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:55:04 AM EST
    Its a tectonic plate because it may mean that Russia is back in an aggressive expansionist phase.

    That is a whole new ball game from the one we have been living in for a couple of decades. Remember all that talk about 'soft power'? This could be a time when we see if EU soft power has any meaning at all.

    If we do go back to the old world order, suddenly thing look a lot dicer than they ever were with three big powers- Russia, China and India- sharing one continent.

    Ouch! and depressing. Biden is the right pick in that kind of a world.

    Hint (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:00:45 AM EST
    Georgia ATTACKED South Ossetia. The expansionist here is Georogia AND the West, "expanding
    NATO" - have you heard that phrase?

    Your comment has it exactly backwards.


    except (none / 0) (#111)
    by AlSmith on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:28:14 AM EST

    no one fears an expansionist Georgia. Russian tanks rolling? Thats another story.

    Why did Russia even feel this shot was on the board?


    When Russia EXPANDS (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:34:18 AM EST
    let me know. For the past 15 years, NATO has been expanding and Russia has been shrinking.

    At issue here is MORE NATO expansion, MORE belligerent actions by the West against Russia.

    You have it exactly backwards.


    we are letting you know.... (none / 0) (#139)
    by AlSmith on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:59:36 AM EST
    Russia has troops in another country.

    Thats scary in a way that it would be if Germany had sent ground forces into a neighboring country, whatever the context or pretext.

    I agree with you that this doesnt automatically mean that further extending NATO is a good idea.

    And these current event might also amount to a major shift in Asia or they might fizz out to nothing. Too early to tell- or to advocate decisive action either way.

    But this is definitely not "oh hum, nothing to see" moment.


    You wrote (none / 0) (#116)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    no one fears an expansionist Georgia.
    Except, presumably, those people that were expanded upon in South Ossetia.

    I see why Biden (none / 0) (#83)
    by NJDem on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:57:50 AM EST
    makes sense with Georgia in the news now.  But isn't it still 'the economy stupid'?  And if so, Biden admitted he doesn't know much about domestic policy at a debate last fall.  

    Has it been agreed that Obama doesn't need a VP with strong economic bona fides, but only to beef up his foreign policy cred?  Didn't a recent article in the NYT (re: 15 swing-state governors) indicate otherwise?    

    here is the problem (none / 0) (#99)
    by AlSmith on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:16:24 AM EST

    I know people dont like to admit this but you can pretty much chart presidential popularity with gas prices.

    Oil is now at $113 which translates to a base cost of ~$2.70/gal. If oil is under $100 in October, suddenly people are going to be a lot more optimistic.

    And I am kind of assuming that it wont be possible to say that the US economy is in recession in October.

    It makes sense to have a ticket that is viable on many fronts.


    So, what's the argument? (none / 0) (#85)
    by cmugirl on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:00:18 AM EST
    If McCain is a disaster on foreign policy, and now we may have Obama/Biden (which just points out Obama's weaknesses), which will be a disaster on foreign policy, why should we vote for the Democratic ticket?  Shouldn't that be a call to vote for the R's and keep a Democratic Congress, as opposed to people seeing what a disaster Obama would be and then in 2 years, the R's sweep back in.

    I don't know what to believe (none / 0) (#87)
    by wasabi on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:02:08 AM EST
    It seems to me that Obama was being criticized heavily in the press for his less than "robust" reaction to the events in Georgia.  (Not saying his response was inadequate here) They were attaching to him the "weenie" label.  I think this is his way of challenging the meme.

    As to what he really believes, I have no clue.  I think it's just politics.

    Obama needs to stop challenging memos (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by americanincanada on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:20:20 AM EST
    stop playing reactionary politics and stand for something.

    Typical Biden overstatement, but time will tell (none / 0) (#94)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:08:07 AM EST
    ... whether it's a historic mountain or molehill.

    My gut says it's somewhere on the mountain side of the spectrum, but not Vesuvius.

    Obama won't say enough, Biden says too much, they're both plagiarists ... a balanced, unified ticket!

    My guess would be (3.00 / 1) (#112)
    by brodie on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:28:29 AM EST
    molehill.  Our side -- O, Biden, and O's major FP advisors -- have been fairly good at keeping the rhetoric and the proposed responses pretty well measured, proportionate and realistic.

    They did have to recognize the situation as an important one and propose solutions.  Fortunately, they didn't overreact like McCain did.  

    Let the people decide whether they want someone in the WH whose first reaction to these foreign skirmishes is to ratchet up the public rhetoric and strongly hint that battle lines must be drawn with a major world military power.

    As for the plagiarism ancient story, it appears that more recently McCain might have borrowed from Solzhenitsin (sp) with his anecdote about the cross drawn in the dirt during his POW stay.  So I would welcome McCain trying to bring up JB's very old and relatively trivial misstep.


    Um, Biden DID overreact (none / 0) (#114)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:31:52 AM EST
    How can you possibly argue he did not?

    The argument here is always (none / 0) (#128)
    by brodie on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:47:54 AM EST
    relative to what the other side has done.  Yes, on the one bit of rhetoric -- Joe saying it was one of the most important things to happen in the post-communist era -- it was at least some semi-hyperbole.  But mostly harmless semi-hyperbole I'd say.

    It's the dangerously hawkish attitude that McCain had with his overheated response which sent a clear signal that he wanted to rumble that really matters.  

    BIden's slight exaggeration on one historical point, as I see it, was more in the nature of helping O manage the politics and public perception of the matter, a not unimportant consideration as the Repubs look to make November all about FP and Defeating Evil.

    And the $1b offer -- better that (which is probably what the Pentagon spends anyway before their daily mid-morning coffee break)  than a knee-jerk mindset of the Repubs which might send us down a most unfortunate military path.


    exactly, however i don't like (none / 0) (#101)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:17:15 AM EST
    french fries nuked. warmed over is warmed over. frankly, the democrats are trying to do repub lite. they have no moral core anymore.

    so much for that "new" (none / 0) (#122)
    by cawaltz on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:41:54 AM EST
    direction for our foreign policy. Short of the government transparency plank it was the only thing of substance that Obama offered me and inspired me to want him in charge.

    I guess he's playing it safe and with the meme of experience being utilized against him he figures that he needs to stick with the policy positions we know instead of going in a different direction. Sad.

    Obama gives shout out to Biden (none / 0) (#123)
    by cmugirl on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:43:22 AM EST

    Obama agrees with Biden.

    Link doesn't work for me (none / 0) (#127)
    by eric on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:47:46 AM EST
    maybe try this one. LINK

    Biden's statements indicate he's no longer (none / 0) (#129)
    by eLadinMO on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:48:06 AM EST
    being vetted for VP. Poli-101 says don't highlight your common ground with your opponent.

    The reverse (none / 0) (#144)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:03:43 PM EST
    It proves he IS the VP nominee.

    My husband had an interesting point (none / 0) (#130)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:51:00 AM EST
    Russia isn't the Soviet Union, but the teeth it has are really, really sharp!  as in mutually assured destruction....North Korea times 100.

    I agree with Biden and McCain.  

    Agree with them how? (none / 0) (#143)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    Major flaw (none / 0) (#145)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:07:09 PM EST
    Russia is not ruled by crazy people.

    It is not a hard-line authoritarian dictatorship totally closed off to the rest of the world.


    Thx cmugirl, destroys my theory, np. (none / 0) (#134)
    by eLadinMO on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:51:50 AM EST

    Well (none / 0) (#141)
    by cmugirl on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:01:35 PM EST
    Maybe they can use this ad from Joe Biden's 1988 campaign (can't link, but found it on Politico - Ben Smith's column)

    A classic Joe Biden ad from 1988, which begins: "The White House isn't the place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power, war and peace, and the economic future of the next generation. A President has got to know the territory, but that's not enough."

    the miltary industrial complex needs (none / 0) (#150)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:13:26 PM EST
    an enemy. thanks to the politicans we are manufacturing one. not that we don't need to address the issue, but i just see money, money, and bad decisions for americans in this whole thing. color me a cynic and rightfully so.

    also this me too foreign policy (none / 0) (#152)
    by hellothere on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:16:09 PM EST
    looks like warmed over food to the american voter. it won't fly with them at all. they are concerned about their paychecks and whether it is safe to cross a bridge now. and if the president of georgia is right or wrong doesn't much matter to them. it is the economy stupid is very very true.