“We got ourselves in a ditch. And we got to stop digging.”
So take their shovels away!
“We got ourselves in a ditch. And we got to stop digging.”
So take their shovels away!
At the Values Voter Summit this weekend, Texas Tea Party congressman Louie Gohmert said that John McCain supports Al Qaeda.
Josh Rogin has an exclusive at The Daily Beast that Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) told him that President Obama has quietly suspended military aid to Egypt, although without finding that there was a coup. But we are acting, at least temporarily, as if there was a coup.
I have no problem with sending a message by delaying aid briefly, just as we would send a message by recalling our ambassador temporarily. But I think overall we should support the military.
Neither side reflects our values, so we need to go with the folks who represent our interests, and that is clearly the military.
Just as I oppose political Christianity here, I oppose political Islam there. The Muslim Brotherhood is awful for the 10% of Egyptians who are Christian, awful for women’s rights, and awful for the many, many Egyptians who are Muslim, but want a modern, secular goverment.
After waiting for 85 years to take power, the Muslim Brotherhood did a miserable job. Morsi refused to reach out and run an inclusive government that tried to represent all Egyptians, he refused to be bound by the Constitution, and basically steered the country more and more toward a theocracy. I’m sure the military did all it could to “help” him fail, but he did a pretty spectacular job himself.
It would have been better to postpone elections until moderate, secular forces had an opportunity to organize, but that didn’t happen. After Mubarak was overthrown, there was no Jeffersonian alternative waiting in the wings. If the choice is between autocracies, and right now it is, I’ll go with the secular one, thank you very much.
It makes no sense that much of the GOP has been criticizing Obama, other than that whatever he does, they automatically feel obligated to oppose him. I can’t help but believe that if Obama had immediately taken a hard line against the military and called for the reinstatement of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the right would have asked, “What do you expect from our Muslim, terrorist-supporting President?” They would have been yelling and screaming about the threat to our fly-over rights, to our ability to jump the line at the Suez Canal, to Israel’s security. Instead, you had the bizarre spectacle of John McCain and Lindsey (“Butters”) Graham defending Morsi against the military. Do they really believe Egypt is better off in the seventh century?
NBC’s Chuck Todd said on Meet the Press that “the White House doesn’t see a path” to immigration reform.
Given the make-up of the
Insane Asylum House of Representatives, I think that’s right. The GOP senators who supported the just-passed bill went out on a limb for nothing, and it’s a very long drop.
Marco Rubio can still get the GOP nomination in 2016, he’s just going to have to make a fool of himself, as McCain did to get the nod in 2008. McCain had to say that he no longer supported his own immigration bill from 2006. Not exactly a “Profiles in Courage” moment, but the base bought it.
“With full cognizance of the human toll of the Syrian civil war, I just wanted to say that I really wish the White House would not have taken this step. It seems like a small step – basically small arms to a totally disorganized insurgency that now seems to be on the ropes. But these slopes tend to be very slippery. And my gut feel is that this is being driven not by a clear or concerted strategy but rather by being pinned down by earlier statements and slowly giving way to outside analysts, talkative senators and allies who, inevitably, will not share much of any of the burden of an expanding intervention.”
Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo
President Obama said that if Syria’s Bashar Assad used chemical weapons, that would be crossing a “red line” for the U. S. Well, now it seems that Assad has used sarin, and Obama needs to put up or shut up.
Not just Republicans like John Boehner, John McCain, and Buck McKeon (Chairman of the House Armed Services Committees) are saying the Prez needs to do something or look weak, Dem Sen. Dianne Feinstein is too.
The sequester was set up in 2011 because it was supposedly so awful that the Dems and the GOP would definitely do a budget deal rather than let it take effect.
But now that it’s here, it seems to everybody involved to be a better option than the available alternatives. The GOP would rather live with the defense cuts that were supposedly anathema to them than raise taxes even on very rich people and corporations. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is no Neville Chamberlain, and he’s saying the Pentagon cuts won’t hurt our national security. The GOP senators who are claiming they will, like John McCain and Lindsey “Butters” Graham, are really outliers even in their own party — after all, they both want to stay in Afghanistan forever, and that’s not where either party is.
The Dems would rather live with the cuts to non-defense spending than accept a deal without more revenue. The cuts won’t affect things like Medicaid or food stamps. You’re not going to see sick or hungry children sobbing in the streets.
Americans believe the sequester isn’t big enough or relevant enough to their lives to get upset about. Yes, people agree with the President that we shouldn’t do big cuts or reform entitlements without raising taxes, but people aren’t rising up against the GOP because the sequester isn’t that significant, either in dollars or affected programs. Nobody’s Social Security check gets cut, nobody’s Medicare benefits get reduced.
People just aren’t feeling the outrage the President is trying to inspire, and if he keeps it up, he might well lose his good will.
It really feels as if we have a bizarre moment of consensus here — Democrats and Republicans and Independents, in and out of government, seem pretty calm about and comfortable with the sequester, especially if it’s tweaked to give department heads flexibility on where to cut.
The GOP has been cast as having the political disadvantage here. But if these cuts take effect, and people don’t feel pain from them, voters might say, “Hey, let’s cut a little more.”
Both former CIA Director Michael Hayden and retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal expressed support today for Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.
But despite a private meeting between the two, John McCain still isn’t convinced. McCain says he and Hagel “have been friends for many years.” With friends like these…
Given his Palin pick, McCain has forever forfeited his right to criticize anybody else’s choices for anything.
Those who oppose Chuck Hagel for DoD, and either whisper or shout that he is anti-Israel/anti-Semitic are really saying that to be pro-Israel, you have to support absolutely everything that Benjamin Netanyahu wants and stands for.
It’s like saying that you’re anti-American unless you support the GOP or anti-British unless you support the Tories.
Suddenly support for Israel is limited to support for its far right.
By this bizarre standard there are a whole lot of folks in Israel and politicians in its Knesset who are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.
Senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham and newbie Ted Cruz are afraid of Hagel. They want to stay in Afghanistan forever, and they know that Hagel will argue to get out sooner than the end of 2014, which is what this war-weary country wants.
Now sometimes being war-weary doesn’t mean you’re right, sometimes you have to suck it up and stick it out, but in this case, the mood of the country matches the strategic reality that we have nothing to gain by staying longer in Afghanistan.
The Hagel haters also fear that he will be an effective spokesman for making DoD more efficient. They can see him on the Sunday talk shows convincingly arguing that some weapons systems can be eliminated, that the defense budget can be cut without making us less safe. They can see him authoring cogent op-eds that will sway opinion leaders.
I am excited about the combo of Hagel at DoD and Brennan at CIA. Brennan is our Drone Guy, and he and Hagel will continue to fight the War on Terror the way it needs to be fought, with more drones and special forces, not tens of thousands of troops stuck manning mountain outposts while Al Qaeda finds other homes.
As Al Qaeda and its affiliates move and spread, we have to be as flexible as they are. We had as many drone strikes in Yemen in 2012 as we did in Pakistan because we are taking the fight to the enemy. There is talk of drone strikes in Mali (and maybe they are happening as I write this) because that’s where Al Qaeda is.
Obama, Hagel, and Brennan get it. They see the big picture of how everything fits together. They see the importance of our relationship with Pakistan, frustrating and infuriating as it is. They see how the war in Iraq destabilized the region and upset the balance of power by taking away Iran’s biggest rival and constraint. Now Iran and Iraq are friends, and Iran is freer to pursue its dreams of hegemony in the region. Hagel is a realist like Bush 41, who recognized that we should kick Iraq out of Kuwait, but not continue to Baghdad because we were better off with Saddam Hussein in power.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will block a Rice nomination for Secretary of State if Obama chooses to proceed: “I would place a hold on anybody who wanted to be promoted for any job who had a role in the Benghazi situation.
The battle against Rice has led to charges of sexism and racism. That’s why they’re putting a New Hampshire woman out front, to try to deflect those charges. Both McCain and “Butters” Graham are male, obviously, plus Butters is from South Carolina.