Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe Klein's latest column

Wrong guess about the Beltway reaction to Obama. Acquiescence, mostly. Ornstein's comment illustrates a way that McCain could make his apology, though. A joint, antipork appearance in favor of an infrastructure bank could do it for him.

Joe-- is there some chance that we can reexamine the risk of "Islamic extremism?" I think there's a pretty story to be told that it is overblown--more like Basque separatists and the Tamil nationalists than like the Nazis or the Soviets.

Also, you need to consider the possibility that Obama's prioritizing energy conservation and reduced dependence on oil supplied by some states that, either officially or unofficailly, are engaged in, for what danger it represents, Islamic extremism.

The US is way overdue in shifting away from the use of imperialist application (or threatened application) of military force to addressing the root causes involved with separatist movements in allied countries.

And in the same use of force dealing with countries that express opposition to the US, but have no mechanism for acting on that opposition, and, perhaps, no actual interest in doing so, other than for domestic political consumption.

3 comments:

sgwhitinfla said...

Joe Klein,
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I have a question/observation that I would love to get some clarity on. Much has been made about John McCain's ability to work "across the aisle" to get things done in Washington. However one thing kind of sticks out ot me about that work. In most cases it was a Democratic policy that he ended up embracing which made it a bipartisan effort. What I mean by that is from the record as I see it the "reaching across the aisle" that McCain did was mostly just agreeing with Democrats on a few issues. But what I hardly ever see is John McCain bringing Democrats over to Republican issues. I would think truly "working across the aisle" would include the ability to convince Democrats on occasion that they are wrong and the Republicans are right. I am not saying by any means that Obama has McCain's overall record BUT I do think that when Barack Obama
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A. Worked on ethics reform and
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B. Worked to get a google for government involved so people can see who is behind all the earmarks.
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Obama had to actually bring some of his party kicking and screaming over to the middle with him to pass those bills. When did McCain have to drag his party with him to the middle to get legislation passed? It seems to me all he did was align with Democrats when they needed a few votes to pass legislation but he never brought his party with him. As I recall when he had pushback from his party on illegal immigration reform, one of the things "journalists" point to as proof that he is a uniter, he walked away from it and took his name off the bill.
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I won't hold my breath for an answer but I do think this is something that should have been put into perspective along time ago and might have been if credible journalists had stopped drinking the kool aid with McCain when he called himself a "maverick".

PhD9 said...

@Jay,

Why is it that all the best and wisest comments are the ones that end up moderated?

What I like about your comment is that it expands on the notion that all the issues we deal with are related to each other. You can't discuss the economy without disussing the war. You can't discuss the war without discussing energy. You can't discuss energy without discussing the environment. You can't discuss the environment without discussing the shortcomings of unfetterd deregulation.

If your unwilling to step back and look at core assumptions then you are doomed to repeat all the mistakes of the past.

Jay Ackroyd said...

he is certainly going to have to make an assertive move on arrival if for no other reason than to remove all doubt that HE'S in charge.
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The whole business about Petraeus in Joe's interview with Obama made that very point, which I'm surprised (given your point) that he didn't refer to. Given what we've heard about the transition team, and the very disciplined way the campaign was run, clearly under Obama's (and not a chief handler's) direction, I think we can be confident that he will make it very clear who is in charge.
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Normally, it wouldn't bother me if he did so in a bipartisan way, by, say giving DoD to Hagel or Lugar, along with a brief that included a reinvigorated approach to reducing proliferation (again, addressing root causes instead of regimes the US doesn't like). But we cannot let stand the idea that only republicans can handle national security issues. It's plainly false--just look at the wreckage. I'd like him to appoint Jack Reed. Make a clear statement. He's not gonna be hamstrung the way Clinton was by a weak majority. And there is no risk of a Republican "revolution" in 2010. They'll be hard-pressed to hold their Senate seats, even if things go as badly as they might.