Meh Culpa

Meh Culpa: On Barry’s supporters reeling at Clinton as head of State

Ben Smith at Politico points out Obamaland’s revulsion to the potential appointment of Hillary as Secretary of State.  Dare I say Obama’s brilliant? I think so.  Not only does it neutralize Hillary politically by removing her from the Senate, she would prove a tough, savvy negotiator. And although she and the President-Elect disagreed on a few foreign policy issues, she’s going to work hard and follow orders.  If she proved nothing else during her years as First Lady it was that she’s a good soldier, so good that some of Bill’s policies rubbed off [unfavorably] on her presidential campaign.  Case in point: did anyone really believe her when she said she didn’t support NAFTA?  Obama is smart enough to know that.

While  Republicans decried Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate–which meant Hillary is more conservative–that’s simply not true.  From a leftist’s perspective, he’s actually kind of conservative.  Note his feelings about same sex marriage. He might have said Prop. 8 was “divisive and discriminatory,” but his lack of support for Prop 8 seemed to have more to do with changing the California constitution than with recanting his religious views on the subject.

”I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”

That’s not the statement of a leftist politician. That’s a Constitutional lawyer talking.

In any case, Obama’s nobody’s fool.  There are rumbles of  the appointment being a fait accompli, so he may just have a slam dunk after all.  I’m also sure he’s aware that getting the Clintons as a public two-fer is perhaps the only way this appointment could fail.  Certainly, Hillary and Barack could use Bill as an unofficial adviser, which the former president would be anyway, but Obama shouldn’t allow the country to perceive the new administration as looking backward. Barack Obama was not elected only on the basis of his policies and judgment; unlike John McCain, who looked over his shoulder and bowed down to The Golden Age of Ronald Reagan,  Obama, it could be argued, was also elected as a forward-thinking president of the 21st century.

He needs to keep it that way. So does Hillary. She will rein in Bill if she wants to go anywhere after being Secretary of State.

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November 18, 2008 - Posted by | appointments, liberal, politics, transition | ,

6 Comments »

  1. ” ‘Usually our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them’ That’s not the statement of a leftist politician. That’s a Constitutional lawyer talking.”

    Oh please! That is the statement of a deeply flawed legal analysis of the constitution, which can only derive from the type of constitutional approach used by jurists such as Brennan, Marshall, and Ginsburg, in other words the left-wing, I-am-going-to-read-my-opinion-into-the-words-of-the-founding-fathers approach.
    Conservative constitutional lawyer, my b…!

    “unlike John McCain, who looked over his shoulder and bowed down to The Golden Age of Ronald Reagan”

    And again, and a bigger, OH PLEASE!
    Since when did John McCain ever do more than pay lip-service to anything that Ronald Reagen stood for?
    McCain-Feingold,McCain-Kennedy, voting TO approve Ginsburg and Breyer, opposing many of Bush’s other conservative appointments to federal benches, being pro-foreign wars and foreign interventions, etc.
    Reagen called his sending the Marines into Beirut the biggest mistake of his life.
    McCain has been in the wrong party his whole life, the proper party he should be in is the McCain party.

    You ultra-liberals will get a nice shock with Obama, once you see that there will be NO CHANGE to our foreign aggression and interventionism, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc under this new president. Even if Obama himself may wish to take a substantively different (the tone may change indeed) approach here, his advisers will not:
    Emmanuel (served in the IDF), Ross, Harmann, Holbrooke, Albright, Clinton(s) — they all represent the obverse of the right’s neo-cons.
    The latter three have already proven that they consider bombing and killing thousands of innocent civilians an acceptable approach, see Serbia, Sudan, Iraq embargo.

    Emmanuel would like to establish mandatory paramilitary corps of all 18-25 year olds, shades of the Hitler youth?
    Obama wants to finally turn Afghanistan into our new Vietnam with his escalation, and Pakistan / Waziristan into the next Cambodia.

    Oh, and Pelosi wants to steal all private retirement money to fund it.
    Some CHANGE!

    Comment by mtabor1 | November 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. If you can’t be civil, don’t comment. I will ban you if you’re not.

    Obama was talking about the California constitution, which does guarantee such rights as per the mostly Republican California Supreme Court decision this year. (Moreno is the only Democratic justice voting in the majority.)

    McCain played the poseur during his entire campaign.There didn’t seem to be anything real about him, except his willingness to fight dirty and I’m not even clear he made his own decisions on that. He didn’t used to be that way. He changed after the 2000 election, even backing down from banning torture. Sad. (Interestingly enough, The American Spectator‘s Peter Wallison bought into McCain as a “reasonable facsimile” of Ronald Reagan. The Reagans may not have thought much of him after his divorce, however.)

    I think Supreme Court justices should be approved based on their acumen and qualifications. McCain voted for Clarence Thomas, whom I don’t believe was qualified. Even less qualified was Harriet Miers. Both Democrats and Republicans admitted that much.

    I don’t have any illusions that Obama is as liberal as I am, so I won’t be shocked. He and Hillary are both too hawkish for my liking. But McCain was even more militaristic, so, ehhh…

    I think the US is in worse trouble with an entire brigade being deployed on our own country’s soil to do the National Guard’s job of quelling civil unrest. And assisting with “crowd control.” That last one was a doozy. So, really, I’m not as concerned with providing for the common defense by giving 18 – 25 year olds three or four months training.

    I’m not thrilled with Pelosi either. For different reasons than you, I’m sure. But still, I don’t like her one bit.

    Comment by mehculpa | November 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. “If you can’t be civil, don’t comment. I will ban you if you’re not.

    Sorry, I did not mean to be rude if it came across that way, but did want to pose a different viewpoint.”

    “… does guarantee such rights as per the mostly Republican California Supreme Court decision this year. (Moreno is the only Democratic justice voting in the majority.)”

    I don’t think it is an issue of party affiliation. IMO, looking at the text of the constitution, it did take an acitivist approach to reach that conclusion. My problem with that is, that while an acitivist approach has given us “rights” we should have, it has also allowed other things to pass that we clearly should not.
    The ones that we should have though, should be gained not through an unelected body of 7 or 9, but through legislative process (including a constitutional change).

    For every Griswold v Connecticut, we get a Patriot Act, for every Brown v BoE Topeka we get a Federal Reserve Act, or a constitutional fed. income tax. And corporate “free speech” rights were even granted without EVER having ruled on legal personhood for corps, a concept the founders abhored.

    Thus any time such legal approach is used, it opens up the gate for a loss of liberty, which on balance we have had over the last 100+ years

    “McCain played the poseur during his entire campaign.There didn’t seem to be anything real about him, except his willingness to fight dirty and I’m not even clear he made his own decisions on that.”

    I fully agree, except I would lengthen the timeframe, and say, poseur during his entire life. The recent Rolling Stone article, while its subjective tone was not to my liking, painted a good picture of this man, and that his whole life has just been about McCain, McCain. With his granddaddy’s and daddy’s name behind him, he would have failed much sooner. Graduating 795th out of 800 only happened, because McCain;s mom interceeded with Annapolis commander.

    According to RS, Nancy Reagen went so far as to give McCain’s ex a job in the White House.

    “But McCain was even more militaristic, so, ehhh…”

    Like you, I am very glad that McCain did not end up our next commander in chief.

    “I think the US is in worse trouble with an entire brigade being deployed on our own country’s soil to do the National Guard’s job of quelling civil unrest. And assisting with “crowd control.” That last one was a doozy.
    So, really, I’m not as concerned with providing for the common defense by giving 18 – 25 year olds three or four months training. ”

    I am concerned with both, and agree that that whole brigade thing you mention is a disgrace, woefully undercovered by a sycophantic media in gerenal. But it is based on the Patriot Act, to which see above. And both parties failed us here. To me though, the Democrats are more at fault, simply because they were the opposition party and should have stood up to the President’s further seizure of power. Unfortunately, very few members of Congress, had the guts ot oppose. Ron Paul did though (as with Iraq), for which he should get credit, even when one disagrees with other of his positions.

    “I’m not thrilled with Pelosi either. For different reasons than you, I’m sure. But still, I don’t like her one bit.”

    It amazes me that her constituency in California has put up with her for so long, as their common interest doesn’t seem to intersect all that much anymore. I gave up hoping anything from the current speaker, when she yanked the bill earlier this year, that would have forbidden the President any actions against Iran without congressional approval (fought in large part by McCain’s man Joe Lieberman).

    And to think that they left that Senator in his chairmanship, after
    the betrayal of his long-time party.
    I did like Ned Lamont, btw.

    Comment by mtabor1 | November 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. The California constitution states that it’s supposed to be construed more broadly when it names rights (Art. 1, Sec 3. b. 2). Our constitution provides more rights than the US Constitution, which I find fascinating. Anyhow, this is the first time it’s taken rights away from a designated group. I tend to agree with the belief that Prop 8 was an improper revision of the constitution (Art. 18 Sec 1).

    You might be interested to know, if you don’t already, that the California Council of Churches filed a Petition for write of Mandate or Prohibition requesting that Prop 8 not be enforced for the reason I mention above, and because it would provide an opening to remove the same Equal Protection from religious minorities.

    You and I will probably need to agree to disagree on this particular issue, I think.

    I agree with you about McCain. (I was trying to be kind.)

    I’m hopeful (as much as I can ever be) that the most damaging provisions of the Patriot Act et.al., will be repealed, but I have to be realistic about how much will actually get done. I do, however, despise Congress for having no backbone in the face of Bush 43. (You like Ron Paul; I’m partial to Russ Feingold.)

    I think Pelosi won her seat handily. Yes, I just looked it up: she won 72% of the vote. Maybe her constituency doesn’t read the news?

    Don’t get me started on Lieberman. If I say what I’m thinking someone on the Internet will reach through the screen and smack me. (Although the first three letters of his name are there for a reason…)

    Comment by mehculpa | November 23, 2008 | Reply

  5. It is interesting, that though we probably approach many issues from a different viewpoint, there is always some common ground on major principles.
    For example, i just read Raimondo’s Article “Stop Hillary” on antiwar.com, which is written from the point of anti-hawkdom.

    He does not consider the notion of “neutralizing” Hillary via this appointment, but I do agree with his main point about the War Party.

    So, I also left my message on the transition team web-site.

    While Obama is by far more intelligent than W., and one would hope this would immunize him from the voices surrounding him, I think that W. has shown, that it is hard to not be swayed. Thus, an anti interventionist S. of State would help to counterbalance the already many pro War people.

    If Hillary were not appointed, I wonder if she poses any more credible future threat to this president (2012 would truly be her last shot)? The only time in the last 40 years that a sitting president had a challenger to his renomination was Ford by Reagen in 1976, and with all the Reps problems then, he still prevailed. Even the 1980 Carter had no problem.
    I don’t hope that we will be in 2012 where we were in 1980, thus I can’t see how the powers that be within the Dem. Party would permit Hillary a challenge, whether as Senator or whatever.

    Comment by mtabor1 | November 23, 2008 | Reply

  6. The beauty of being American: we can all hold different opinions.

    You’re right: the War Party’s being assembled at State. A pity. I do hope Obama assigns the so-called doves to the National Security Council. Hillary might have arranged a direct line to Barack–and possibly avoid a doom similar to Colin Powell’s–but I don’t think he’ll allow her to railroad him. Besides, he already knows what she’s like. I also think she’s not going to be able to resist doing a good job. And if she tries to subvert his agenda or proves less than stellar he can fire her. That’s what Hillary needs to avoid.

    My first choice for State had been Bill Richardson based on his experience as UN Ambassador, but I have to admit he might not have been as tough as Obama wanted for Secretary of State, although he wasn’t the warmonger during the campaign that Hillary was / is. I also see he may have a major role as Commerce Secretary. With luck, he’ll be able to help pull off a [grand] coup de pouce fiscaux That would position him more for 2012 or 2016 than State would for Hillary. There still would be the racist thing to overcome again, and sometimes Bill’s mouth moves faster than his brain–he’s a little like Biden with the foot in mouth disease–but Americans like a president who can make them prosperous.

    I think Hillary could try running for president again in 2016–unless she’s tired of the playing politics by then. She’ll be 69.

    Comment by mehculpa | November 24, 2008 | Reply


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