Democrats & Liberals Archives

Number Eight

Once again, Bush knows how to pick them. Last time, he was vetoing children’s healthcare. This time, Bush pulled a surprised veto of the Defense Authorization bill. And why? Because the Iraqi government had a problem with a provision in this bill that would allow victims of terrorism and their families to sue those responsible. I’ll let the Republicans figure out why they still support this man as president. It’s what they do best.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 29, 2007 10:10 PM
Comments
Comment #241757

Stephen, your link is not good….but I had seen this earlier, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/29/washington/29bush.html?_r=1&ref=washington&oref=slogin
Ain’t this great??? We can’t seem to get anything out of Bush, but he sure jumps to appease the Iraquis.

Posted by: Jane Doe at December 29, 2007 10:55 PM
Comment #241760

Kind of puts the lie to all of Bushcos caterwaling about how the Dems were hurting the troops by delaying the bills passage,now,doesn’t it.
I thought it hard to believe the Whitehouse could have missed this earlier but then then I remembered just how incompetant they are.
Now is a good time for the Dems to put back a withdrawel agenda and defund permanent bases.

Posted by: BillS at December 30, 2007 1:03 AM
Comment #241767

The president screwed the pooch on this one. They should have caught it earlier. It is not possible to defend this. Have fun with it. All we can do is fix it and move on.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2007 6:48 AM
Comment #241776

Jane Doe-
The link has been fixed. Hopefully it stays that way.

BillS-
I’m not sure what can be done with this. This is just an authorization bill, not an appropriations bill. If we take that opportunity, though, we should not budge on Bush’s veto sticking point.

Jack-
He screws the pooch on a regular basis. Your people just find different reasons to defend his decisions after the fact, when often you would have roundly criticzed anybody else for making those decisions.

The Republicans have suffered awfully for their unwillingness to cut their losses with Bush, and find more effective, more reliable leadership elsewhere.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 30, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #241781

Stephen

George Bush is President of the United States. You really cannot “cut your losses” in this case. To a leader in this situation our duty is to mitigate problems and allow him to be as successful as he can be.

When I do not support the president, I usually just do not write. Often I support him for what I consider good reasons or because I believe his solution is better than the alternatives on offer. I am very proud of him for the stand he has taken re Iraq since January 2007, for example. You will notice I did not write much on that subject in 2006.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #241784

Bushco has given one reason for the veto. Lets keep an eye out for any other changes the Whitehouse tries to make in conference. Maybe they forgot to give enough kickback to some MIC member for some obcenely expensive, useless and dangerious weapons program.

Posted by: BillS at December 30, 2007 3:06 PM
Comment #241787


Bush didn’t have a choice. If you start letting victims sue, there may not be enough money to pay for all of the corruption in Iraq.

Posted by: jlw at December 30, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #241791

Jack-
First, you can always impose upon other Republican officials or political figures to either reason with the president, or provide a credible check on him. Second, you guys had a different choice in 2004, with Iraq rapidly getting out of control. You could have at least mounted a primary challenge to him, or asked him as Republicans about getting the war right.

Third, silence is tacit consent. How many times and in how many ways have the Republicans been silent while their politicians screw things up? You cannot prevent major foul-ups from your politicians if you don’t complain when they screw up. Politicians need to know what their voters think, when they’re thinking it. Otherwise, they don’t know what their job depends on.

Fourth, what’s to be proud of? A brigade a month will have to leave, with no realistic way to halt or rebuild those forces in Iraq because he just pulled this strategy out of his hindquarters in response to the elections. The results of this unplanned, poorly thought out strategy will be that we will be in an even worse position to withdraw in an orderly fashion, as the American people have mandated.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 30, 2007 6:02 PM
Comment #241816

Stephen

I consider that Bush made a mistake in the instance mentioned. Let me consider his general policies in war and peace.
- His economic policies have been generally successful.
- War is always uncertain. It was going okay in 2004. It started to go badly in 2005 and improved at the beginning of 2007. If John Kerry had been elected and cut and run as he promised, that would be really screwing up.
- The President failed to address SS - mostly because Dems stopped him.

I see mistakes Bush has made. The alternatives may have been worse. I would vote the same way now as I did in 2004 given the same choices. Choices are always limited. You have the luxury in rhetoric to compare Bush to would could have been. More things could happen than can happen and in the real world we have choices only among real choices.

BTW - the American people have mandated nothing. They elected the president in 2004. They elected Dems to congress in 2006 in numbers similar to what they had given Republicans in 2002 and 2004. Our system give authority to the various parts of government. They people have a right to vote, but we do not make policy by opinion poll.

I think you may want to study a little more on the 2007 strategy change. If you knew more about it, you would understand that it is well thought out and is being executed superbly. You may disagree that it will work, but to imply that it is just “pulled out of his hindquarters” is factually incorrect.

Posted by: Jack at December 31, 2007 12:24 AM
Comment #241830

Jack

There is enough research and evidence on the internet to suggest that Bush did not win 2004 but stole that election just as he did in 2000.

Support your statement that the war was going ok in 2004. Define “cut and run”-exactly what is that? That is a term made up by Bush and company. If you mean removing our troops and working on a diplomatic end to this mess-then so be it. Explain how you think that would have been really screwing up. Had bush presented a workable solution to SS or been willing to work on a compromise that everyone could live with. Instead as usual it has to be his way or no way. For bush there is not room for compromise. Democrats did not prevent him from continuing to work on SS-he chose to quit when he did not get his way-when a child does this we call it having a temper tantrum-when an adult does this it is called a temper tantrum. Same thing we just expect it from children but from adults we expect better.

Give evidence to support that his economic policies have been generally successful. Successful for who or whom (whichever is the correct term). If you are part of the wealthy maybe for you it has but for me it hasn’t. I was better off and more fiancially stable under Clinton.

I personally do not see how things could have been worse with someone else.

Lets see: we would have gotten a head start on gobal warming. We could have gotten rid of Bush’s private army-black hawk and the likes of them. We could have been on our way to a stable Iraq through diplomatic means with less dead soldiers and Iraqis. We would have spent less money on the war. We would have restored the constitution. We would have been addressing SS and health care-developing a system that provides for all. We could have been working toward alternative fuel systems and working toward raining in Saudi Araba with the possibility of lowering gas prices since we would not be lining dick cheney’s and oil corporation’s pockets with over the top profits. I could go on and on but I think you get my drift.

Posted by: Carolina at December 31, 2007 9:13 AM
Comment #241834

Carolina

In a country with unemployment under 5% for several years, an economy that is growing robustly since 2003, air & water that is cleaner than any other time in our lifetimes, no big terror attacks in the U.S. since 2001 etc, if you cannot imagine a worse situation you may lack imagination and your memory does not extent back before 1996 and you never left your home town, which must be a pretty bleak place given the general outlook.

You are however, very imaginiative in thinking about what could have been if someone else had been elected.

BTW - Did you own stocks during the clinton “good times”. If you did, perhaps you noticed the downturn started in Januarty 2000, a whole year before Bush was president. A different election result would not have changed the downturn in 2001-2.

Re the 2000 election, it was decided by the system in place before the election. We believe in rule of law. Dems like to think the election was stolen. There is lots of stuff on the Internet, but all the major media discount it and most media is liberal.

One thing that is true, is that the election of 2000 was nearly a tie. Neither candidate won a majority of the vote. There was bound to be trouble no matter what. If you check back, you will also find that no candidate won a majority in the elections of 1992, 1996 & 2000. The first guy to win a majority after those three elections came in 2004. Guess who?

Posted by: Jack at December 31, 2007 10:10 AM
Comment #241841

Jack

We could continue this back and forth but I see no reason too as we obviously live in different countries the United States I live in is certainly different from yours. Yours is colored by your beliefs as is mine. I see little use in trying to change your mind as there is no point in trying to change mine.

Since you did not defend your comments re: the war and SS, I can assume that you are unable to defend them. As for there having been no terror attacks since 9/11, that always makes me nervous when people say that cause it (in my opinion) encourages Osama to prove us wrong.

I am not sure why you found it necessary to malign me usually people do this when they are unable to discuss topics in an intelligent, rational manner. I usually do not respond to such post but will this time. I recently (4 yrs ago) moved from a large city to a small town where there is high unemployment, large numbers of uninsured people, and a steel mill and paper mill that pollute. The legislature is working on further polluting a major river here by allowing the building of a coal fire plant. I not only have a good memory but I was also around for the vietnam war and remember classmates who died in that war. I have visited England and toured the United States. And I can imagine a worse situation- Another Republican in the white house in 2008.

Posted by: Carolina at December 31, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #241855

jack if you count the american soldiers killed in iraq they didn’t do a good job of saving american lives.they killed them iver ther so they didn’t over here,

Posted by: albert at December 31, 2007 2:14 PM
Comment #241857

jack you brought up 2007 and the plan that is working superbly.it wasn’t to long ago when the killings were in it’s height that the bush defenders were saying 4 or 5 years were not enough time to judge the war. now your judging success in three months.it’s interesting how you view changes.

Posted by: albert at December 31, 2007 2:38 PM
Comment #241858

Jack-
His economic policies are not successful. His refusal to apply regulation in good faith to the problem of corporate transparency is coming back to haunt us with the bond market. Those selling securitized mortgages pulled many of the same tricks with many of the same people to make the packaged mortgage securities seem more secure investments than they really were. Because many other debts were packaged with similar opacity, they too have come under question. When measurements of risk and value become too undependable, arbitrary whims and actions seem to be more meaningful than they really are.

His monetary policies have driven down the value of the dollar. His policies with ethanol, with their reliance on the use of corn, have made food more expensive. His policies on energy trading helped to create an energy crisis where none truly existed, and are the principle cause of high oil prices, as traders jump at every excuse to make the commodity sell for more than it really is worth.

You’re measuring economic success in a very narrow fashion. You’re measuring abstract growth rather than looking at what’s propping it up. I remember you folks pointing to rises in home ownership and housing starts. What’s come of that is symbolic of the misguided focus of this President and your party. You stretch and break rules, trying to get the paper value of things to rise, give gimmees to the rich, but ignore the way in which rising costs in healthcare, food, and energy, not to mention stagnant wages and debt-dependent engines of growth are punishing the middle clase, forcing them into worse standards of living than what they had before.

I know you mean well, but isn’t history full of people who meant well, but were mistaken? With every boom there is an economic reckoning as the end, and you folks have been putting it off, leveraging further and persisting in dangerous and problematic practices, rather than accepting the uncomfortable costs of facing that reckoning.

The time has come to stop making things worse, economically speaking, not to praise the continuing fiasco.

War can be uncertain, but it’s not arbitrary. Things were not going okay in 2004. You’re walking around in places that were already out of control by Spring of that year, when the Blackwater mercenaries were killed in Fallujah. De-Baathification and the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, which we are still, going on four years later, trying to reverse, had already been ordered. Looters had already stripped buildings down to their girders, Violence had already started to rise.

The problem of 2005 did not come out of the blue, much less those of 2006 or now. These were not arbitrary turns of fortune. Bad policy was already causing problems. Unfortunately, your party has taken on the incuriousity of your CINC, and because of that, you’ve failed to see the connection between decisions made by your people, and the problems at hand.

You fail to get past the need to put up a constant defense. You keep on defending a policy that’s failed to meet crucial benchmarks, set by your own people. When people call the surge a failure, they’re using your own yardsticks of performance.

You’re not kidding anybody. Nobody believes that the purpose of this surge was merely to reduce violence. The point was to give people the opportunity to get past the cycle of violence, and reconcile the differences that will otherwise tear apart the political structure in place.

Things have gotten worse in that department. You may act like we’re ignorant, but we’re not. The fact is, your strategies are succeeding on a certain level, but there’s a such thing as winning a battle only to lose the war.

You’re arming and organizing people in Anbar, flooding money and resources into the place, supporting one groups of insurgents (oh, former insurgents, I forgot.) against the others. Nice. Except the mainly Shia government gets antsy about a bunch of armed Sunnis running around. Not that the Shia are being angels themselves. Your plan is reducing violence in the short term, but not really resolving the tensions.

Put simply, your strategy at a local level is succeeding, but at the price of working against the goal of a peaceful Iraq.

As for pulling it out of his hindquarters, if this was so well planned, why are we short on soldiers? Why did they have to extend so many tours of duty, repeat so many deployments to the place? If all this is so well planned, why did the Bush administration fail once more to meet its own benchmarks for success in your new strategy?

It always seem there’s another excuse in place for why this nine months or that six months haven’t made the difference. Americans are simply sick of it.

And yes, there is a mandate to end the war. Even with current successes in reducing the violence, over two third of Americans still want America out of Iraq, and soon. There’s a reasonable argument for not making policy by opinion poll, but not for continuing to ignore what most Americans want their government to do. You can take the authoritarian position that your people know what’s best for us, but the rest of us don’t trust your judgment any longer.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #241865

Carolina

I have written more than 500 articles on the red side addressing a variety of these issues. If you are interesting in finding out where you went wrong, take a look.

BTW - does your America have unemployments higher than 5%? If your American economy not growing?

I really did not mean to insult you personally and I appologize if it seemed that way.

Stephen

Which of the Dem candidates for president are against the corn ethanol program? I agree that is a stupid program, but it is not something that would have been different.

Re the war, back in 2004 most Americans supported the war in polls. They had a chance to vote for president at that time. They will have a chance again this year. By then, I think we will have given them a victory. If not, the voters can make the choice that will get them what they think they want. Until then, we have a Constiution and we are a nation of laws, not political polls. Clearly the Dems in congress are not going to stop the war and I am glad the president has the courage to finish the job. I really do not care what the polls say, except for the poll we hold in November.

Posted by: Jack at December 31, 2007 4:53 PM
Comment #241877

Jack-
Yes, and if a Democrat suggested it, I would call it a bad idea, too. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a mistake, and it’s making it more expensive to feed American’s across the board.

You’ve been promising victory for almost five years now. You’ve been promising that your next strategy will do away with the problems once and for all since the beginning of the war. You aren’t delivering here, reductions in violence notwithstanding.

Three possibilities present themselves.

First, that military action on our peace can bring peace to Iraq. Too bad Bush so mismanaged our resources we can’t keep them there. If the first possbility is true, the gains depart with the troops.

Second, that military power cannot bring peace to Iraq, but can provide the room for Iraqis to make peace amongst themselves. Too bad they’re not really doing that. The big poison pills, division of oil profits, de-baathification reversal, and all the other power-sharing concerns remain, and we’re adding some by giving weapons, training, and organization to folks who were just yesterday fighting for control of the place. Oh, and that military force that is supposed to be keeping things peaceful so they can get these matters resolved? Like I said, they’re going.

Third, that some miraculous change is sweeping over Iraq, which will make the lack of military power and progress on political issues irrelevant.

The third, if true, is both your only path for success, since it doesn’t require the forces, nor the political progress.

But it also lacks the need for one other thing: us. If we’re not needed to create political success, nor impose military order, why are we making agreements that make this whole thing a long term commitment? Our presence in Iraq is universally regarded as an aggravating factor by all sides.

We are either necessary and becoming insufficient to the task, or unnecessary and have done all we needed to do. What’s your argument for staying?

This president isn’t courageous. A courageous president would have admitted the politically damaging mistakes he made, even if it lost him the election. He would have taken care of things. He would have had the courage to acknowledge that he was wrong on issues. He would have the courage to staff his White House and cabinet with people who have minds of their own, and actually listen to them, instead of peopling his inner circle with cronies and partisan hacks.

Even the surge is no evidence of courage, but rather a dangerously unsustainable change in strategy that has not performed as promise, which in turn he will not admit. He will, instead, redefine success to suit, because to let events falsify his thesis, prove him wrong, would be too scary for him.

There are misdeeds and mistakes that cannot be taken back. Bush and many other Republicans have tried to act as if the progression of history could be rolled back simply by will and perseverence, that they could regain people’s confidence by continuing their fight into the third act. But they keep on pushing that third act resolution into the future, and what was originally supposed to be an easy, feature-length triumph has become an ongoing episodic series, with nothing but second-act material perpetually putting off the conclusion.

You guys won’t let it end until it ends your way. Unfortunately, the longer this war continues, the unhappier it’s ending becomes. Not every story ends like we would like it. Unfortunately, you folks have not learned the humility it would take to accept that your efforts have been in vain, on account of your errors no less. Unfortunately, the rest of the country is being punished for your failure with you, and folks really aren’t big on letting that continue.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2007 8:09 PM
Comment #241888

Stephen

The progression of history? Where do you think this is going? Is there such a thing? If there is, it is pushed by the decisions people make.

We just have totally different views on reality. We really are not talking about the same thing. I see Iraq as vastly improved and improving. Prosperity is returning. Markets and courthouses are opening. Terrorists and insurgents are disappearing. The Marines in Anbar are getting uphappy because they have no enemy to fight and as warriors they feel it is not their job if there is no significant enemy.

This, BTW, is something I have heard dozens of time.

The Iraq of a year ago or six months ago is gone, replaced by a much more hopeful place. I know the bad guys ae waiting their chance. I know that if we leave too soon the terrorists will kill our friends, rape their women and entice their teenage boys into becoming human bombs. This is something I want to avoid.

We can argue about what happened in the past, but I think it is clear to anybody who looks at Iraq now that we have not “already lost”. ON the contrary, anybody who comes here, even Dems like Murtha, see that something almost unbelievable has happened.

I think you will need to get used to the idea that we can win because that is what you are going to get.

The people in Iraq fighting this war for you are willing to finish the job, if you are willing to let them.

Let me also address what seems to be implied in your post. You think we are fighting this for some kind of domestic political victory. Do you really think people come over here, away from home in a life threatening environment, to fight for domestic politics? Success here is important to America. That is why Americans are trying to win. Bush will not be president much longer, but America will still have an interest in Iraq

Posted by: Jack at December 31, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #241904

Jack-
Progression of history? Try Time’s Arrow, if you want a better notion of what I’m talking about. There are things we changed in Iraq that mean we can’t go back the way we came, that what would have been the solution months or years ago is no longer applicable or even possible.

Things have undoubtedly gotten better in Anbar Province. But the how and the why of that improvement figures into whether it’s sustainable. The Shia Government (not without reason) is getting antsy about effectively having two militaries in one country, and are publically talking about decommissioning the lot of them, which the Sunni (not without reason) will balk at.

Meanwhile, De-Baathification remains the policy of Iraq, which deprives Iraq both of experienced officials and the Sunnis of their sense of sharing power, rather than having it imposed on them. Oil also remains an issue, which the fossil fuel poor central regions, mainly Sunni, will want.

While you’re looking at all this with impossibly rose-colored glasses, the rest of these problems remain problems, and remain problems your people (or more accurately, the Iraqis) are not solving.

While I think the stability within regions might be greater, for the time being, it’s the stability between regions that concerns me. We’ve armed, but not reconciled the warring parties, and no matter what a face you put on it, the coming year will have us removing the soldiers who have been, depending on your argument, the glue keeping things together, or the clamp helping that glue set.

Because of the mismanaged logistic policy, there are no second chances for this. We either have it right now, or it’s wrong for good. The failure of this administration to meet its goals, as promised, the failure of the Iraqis to take advantage of the surge to reconcile to one another makes detached observers consider recent improvements likely to be ephemeral, or at best strategically irrelevant.

I know I’m giving you a predictable line here, for my part, and have been giving it to you for some time. However, I believe there is evidence to back it up. If my response is a cliched one for a Democrat, it’s only Cliched because I feel confident making the case on the facts that I have.

Most Americans are not trying to win anymore, they’re trying to get out. Your party is in the way. Bush is trying to hold on to his hardline base by not giving in to the rest of America. He’s trying to salvage his legacy of playing to that base. I just have to wonder when the Republicans are going to wake up and realize that they’ve lost their core of support in America. People no longer believe that the Republicans represent morning in America.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 1, 2008 2:56 PM
Comment #243040

Jack,

I agree, and am in turmoil with regards to what the Republican Party has become. There is no option, really. There is no option for a conservative such as myself. Ronald Reagan came along in an era close to this one. One where we felt unease and a sense of being defeated. He claimed that the United States of America would not be defeated. Like all the story books, Good would triumph. Sure we as Dem’s and Rep’s have disagreements, but all should know and rekindle the spirit of goodness that resides in all of our society. We need a candidate who isn’t afraid to speak of hope and national pride. Who isn’t afraid to point out that the only way we win is in our own ingenuity and self worth. We need a candidate who for instance is’nt afraid to claim that the road might be difficult but it is the one we always have and will choose in the future, that road of leading not hiding. Where is a candidate who would say that what George Bush is doing in Saudi Arabia is an isult to every American. 18 of the 22 assailants on 9/11 were Saudi, and they don’t much like us. In fact they are our enemy. Why isn’t a Republican stating that in the short term, I as candidate A, propose that we begin drilling off shore off every shore around our nation until we are free of any nation on earth dictating our economy. Then after, for the long term, we will look for other forms of fuel. This has to do with our national soveriegnty and our ability to objectively do whats right in the middle east. Reagan would have, Kennedy would have as well. Where is a leader, where is hope for this nation?

Posted by: Todd Denney at January 15, 2008 7:50 PM
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