No need for apologetics

Oh, my!  Hillary has astounded the left blogosphere again.  She hasn’t backed off on her “war hawkishness” and for the first time in 6 years, she has actually defied the White House and admitted that their foreign policy was full of holes.  So, now all of the left’s assessment of her is proven true, TRUE, I say!  She would have taken us into a new war had she been president, she wouldn’t have stopped with earth, she would have declared it on the Martians and then where would we be?  I can almost see the caricature Hillarys filling the souvenir shelves in 2016, hair standing on end and eyes wild and terrifying like some older, plumper version of Galadriel on ring steroids.

Will you people get a grip?  You’re starting to remind me of the right.  Yeah, I went there.  Those people are black/white thinkers without nuance. The left’s absolutism when it comes to war and pacifism is starting to resemble that.  I’m not apologizing for Hillary.  You can go back to her senate days until the present and really read what she’s said to figure out where she stands.  She’s allowed to be wrong.  God knows, the left is extremely forgiving of other politicians who were much wronger than Hillary.  John Kerry and John Edwards were given free passes and they were clearly motivated by politics.  But she’s also allowed to be right and we have to look at the bigger picture of the globe and our unfortunate and damning dependence on oil to see what might be going on here.

In the last couple of weeks, I have wondered why it is that this region of the world is still so tribal, why authoritarian religion has such a grip on the inhabitants, why it hasn’t allowed them to evolve and who is behind all that religious hierarchy.  I mean, why is it concentrated so heavily in the area where oil is located and where there are global chokepoints to the flow of oil and other goods?  You’d think that living in such a strategic area of the world that these people would have a better standard of living than they do.  Why aren’t the best minds coming from the middle east?  Why are so many of them poor?  What is the connection of religion to power and which side is wielding it?  I’m sure there are papers on the subject. But it’s not my area and I’m dissatisfied and embarrassed by the shallowness of the discourse on the left when it comes to these questions.  All I ever hear is, “why are we there?”, “why are we spending money to bomb other countries?”, “when can we get out?”, “get out now!, Now!, Now!” and “See, that was a waste, they’re back to killing each other”.

Back in 2008, I tried to warn people over at DailyKos and here that getting out of Iraq wasn’t going to be easy and shouldn’t be rushed.  The Bushies went to Iraq to steal and experiment, and, in the course of that experimentation, trashed the place.  Pulling out was going to be destabilizing and we were probably going to have to stay longer whether we liked it or not.  And what happened?  The White House, ever in campaign mode, pulled out without stabilizing before the 2012 election and the place fell apart.  (See this Frontline episode on Losing Iraq.  The evidence damns the Bushies and the Obama administration.)

I keep coming back to responsibility.  We on the left seem to think that if we didn’t want a war and didn’t start one, we are not responsible for what happens when one happens despite our protests.  And that’s just not true.  Whether we like it or not, we will be forever associated with the other fellow bone headed, stupid, mean spirited Americans who were lead over a cliff by a bunch of greedy, selfish, destructive global “citizens”.  What you might consider “war hawkishness” might be responsibility to me.  And it sucks to be the more conscientious elder sibling.  It’s so much easier to take the easy way out and enjoy the credit, while it lasts, for making everyone happy temporarily by disassociating from the war as quickly, and as it turns out, as recklessly as possible.  But getting out quickly didn’t make things better, did it?  That high was timed to last a campaign season and very little thought was given to the morning after the party.

If anything, the Arab Spring, the collapse of Iraq and the civil war in Syria has confirmed my initial assessment of the two candidates in 2008.  Clinton was rehab and Obama was an enabler.

The latter won.

Addendum:  Some dirty hippies completely discredited themselves in the last couple of election cycles and need to take an old cold tater and wait.

 

What Women??

Atrios writes:

In the year 2013, misogyny and gender inequality persists in part because male editors pay women to write anti-feminist screeds, allowing men to continue feeling good about their misogyny.

Am I supposed to do a “George Bush looking for WMDs under the tablecloths” maneuver?

Where are these women of which you speak?

Do you mean the ones employed by Fox or the past-their-writing-prime variety like Maureen Dowd who graduated from Catholic school when women still wore doilies on their heads in church?

There are pitifully few women writing for major newspapers in the op/ed section and even more pitifully, a mere tincture of women bloggers cited by blog aggregators like Greg Sargent’s PlumLine.  It got so bad last year that we started a Plumline metric, a ratio of female to male blogger citations.  The numbers would have had to triple before they were even slightly significant.

I’ll be the first one to support the notion that women should stop bashing women.  But when the DNC threw all of its support behind Obama, bashing women became inevitable- because his main opponent and best qualified candidate was a woman. Since the DNC determined that he was going to be the nominee, women were forced to bash their own in order to keep the slender reproductive rights they had in 2008.  And how did that turn out?

This problem didn’t just spring out of nowhere.  It has always been there because our numbers in the op/ed world have always been few.  It’s just worse now because the graduating class of 2008 was almost exclusively male.

If Atrios had been paying attention, he would have noticed that there are plenty of female bloggers waiting for paying gigs who are not writing anti-feminist screeds.  Oh wait, he would have had to seek out those writers on his own.  They never get mentioned by the opinionmakers and they’re not bloody likely to get mentored by anyone.  Heck, WE can’t even get on his blogroll.

Nevermind.

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Hey, remember this little ditty?  I know *I’ll* never forget.

May 31st: The collision of Politics and Voting

They say that politics is a game. Politics being the games and tricks that go on behind the scenes:  The wheeling and dealing,  The leaked memos and dirty secrets, the tricks.  And that being so, the players are either winners or sore losermen.

But, I think that most of us see democracy as a combination of politics and voting — not just the politics.   In fact, it’s possible that most of us think of democracy as the voting.

So I’m thinking about Democratic Primaries and politics vs voting:

  1. The Democratic Primary is a club.  Pretty much anyone can join but, never forget – it’s a club and they can set their own RULES.
  2. States – say for example, Florida and Michigan – are governments and they can schedule elections (even primary elections) whenever they want.

In 2008 #1 – Democratic Party RULES collided with #2 the PRIMARY ELECTIONS in Florida and Michigan.
That might seem like a small thing to you but, here’s what happened.  The Democratic Party (DNC) said that the Florida and Michigan elections didn’t count because the Democratic National Committee didn’t approve of the date of the elections.

Oh, in the end – May 31, 2008 – the DNC granted Florida and Michigan 1/2 their delegations.  But, it was at the cost of the reappropriation of the Michigan delegation.  For reasons not even remotely explained, Obama was given all the uncommitted delegates and 4 of Hillary’s.

We had a collision between the Politics and the Voting.  And the Politics won.

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