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Martha Coakley for President Open Thread

I can’t reload that earlier thread anymore, so here’s a new one. From The Boston Globe:

Coakley: I oppose more US troops to Afghanistan

The Democratic front-runner in the race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy issued a statement saying, “I believe we should begin the process of bringing our troops home.”

Coakley has said repeatedly she trusted President Barack Obama but would wait to hear him make his case if he wanted to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

Yet two days before Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the subject, Coakley said “based on what I know now,” she does not support a troop increase….

Coakley said she is “very concerned” the case for more troops still has not been made. And she believes there is no evidence Afghan President Hamid Karzai “is a legitimate or trustworthy partner.”

We need a President with guts. Of course the last time we had a President who had the courage to speak up to the generals, he was shot down on the street in Dallas.

Ray McGovern at Truthout:

as he studied the options, cost and likely outcomes, Kennedy came to see U.S. intervention in Vietnam as a fool’s errand. Few Americans are aware that, just before he was assassinated, Kennedy had decided to pull all troops out of Vietnam by 1965.

The Pentagon was hell bent on thwarting such plans, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara found it an uphill struggle to enforce the President’s will on the top brass. Senior military officers were experts at “slow-rolling” politicians who favored a course that the Pentagon didn’t like.
When in May 1962 Kennedy ordered up a contingency troop-withdrawal plan, it took more than a year for the military brass to draw one up.


Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff, to whom fell the task of announcing President Kennedy’s death on Nov. 22, 1963, told James Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, that Kennedy’s mind was fixed on Vietnam the day before. Instead of rehearsing for a press conference that day, Kennedy told Kilduff:

“I’ve just been given a list of the most recent casualties in Vietnam. We’re losing too damned many people over there. It’s time for us to get out. The Vietnamese are not fighting for themselves. We’re the ones who are doing the fighting.
“After I come back from Texas, that’s going to change. There is no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life.”

Kennedy never returned from Texas and the war went on. Sadly, Obama is no John Kennedy.

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44 Responses

  1. If only….

  2. 14 members of my high school graduating class, and 4 that I knew from college are on the wall. If only…..

  3. I know it’s not Tuesday, but perhaps if Kennedy had not wanted to end the war…

    • I think that, along with his refusal to bomb Cuba, was what got him killed.

      Eisenhower wasn’t kidding when he warned us about the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower couldn’t control the CIA either.

  4. *sighs*

  5. These pundits keep saying her support is soft and they’re waiting for the boys to tag team her.

  6. The more read about Martha Coakley, the more I like her.

    • Oh she’s great. Last time, she actually made commercials defending Deval Patrick from unfair Republican attacks. Of course, that kind of loyalty will get you nothing but shivved (I seriously hate Diane Patrick, you do your own phone banking Ms. Bros Over Hos), but it was still a great thing to do. Integrity and loyalty, baby.

  7. Hmmm…couldn’t get into the sourcewatch page for quite a bit of time. Seems it was busied out or something?

  8. Well she sure isn’t afraid to speak up even though she’s one the few democrats doing so. I’m sure she’ll do just fine – Massachusetts isn’t too much different than NY voting demographics and we sure know how to pick senators here. I trust the voters.

  9. I’m one of those who had few issues with going into Afghanistan initially, and going HARD after Bin Laden and the rest. It was a sound premise, and justified IMO. And if Bush had committed to that instead of shifting all focus to the Iraq debacle, it could have been a relatively brief, surgical, and effective campaign, and we’d be out. Instead, he pissed around there while sending all the resources to Iraq, and missed that window of opportunity to strike.

    Now? Hell. we dithered around so long that they al had time to regroup and move around, and most aren’t even IN Afghanistan anymore. Unless we plan on invading and occupying Pakistan as well (which I hop no one is insane enough to consider) it’s become a fool’s errand.

  10. I like Douthat better than Krugman in this morning’s NYTimes, though not much in the way of new ideas or solutions from either. And the pending troop increase is looking more and more like a supplemental stimulus.

  11. Sanders is up there in age.

  12. There are several options available

  13. @AriMelber: What does it say about our era that the most popular English word of the year went from CHANGE (’08) to TWITTER (’09)?

    I don’t know Ari, but by all accounts the top conservatives are beating out the top progressives on Twitter. So stop whining and get back to hoping.

  14. @GovMikeHuckabee on tacoma shooting – http://tr.im/G9II

  15. SOD: Bernie Sanders and M. Coakley? There are about 200+ million Americans west of the Atlantic seashore who have never heard of either one of them. We just saw this country go nuts over a first term Senator and Coakley hasn’t even made that benchmark yet.

  16. Remember the benchmarks? The upcoming bestest speech on war, doesn’t

  17. Damn! This woman really is courageous and direct. She hasn’t even won the primary yet, and she is not pandering for support. Instead, she sticks her neck out on…(wait for it)


    She is definitely one to watch.

  18. Meanwhile, back at the Ranch:

    7 stories Barack Obama doesn’t want told

    A year into his presidency, however, Obama’s gift for controlling his image shows signs of faltering. As Washington returns to work from the Thanksgiving holiday, there are several anti-Obama storylines gaining momentum.

    The Obama White House argues that all of these storylines are inaccurate or unfair. In some cases these anti-Obama narratives are fanned by Republicans, in some cases by reporters and commentators.

    But they all are serious threats to Obama, if they gain enough currency to become the dominant frame through which people interpret the president’s actions and motives.

    [This is one of the 7 storylines!] Too much Leonard Nimoy
    Both Maureen Dowd in The New York Times and Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post have likened him to Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.

    [Here’s a second that was obvious to us from the start] The lesson that many Washington insiders have drawn is that Obama wants to buy off the people he can and bowl over those he can’t. If that perception spreads beyond Washington this will scuff Obama’s brand as a new style of political leader.


  19. also before he was killed President Kennedy said he was going to do away with the federal reserve and go back to the treasury dept. issuing currency, you know like the constitution says.

  20. Just a quick reminder to all my fellow cynics when it comes to politicians: the political system as it is now construed makes it virtually impossible for anyone with integrity to operate based only upon what is right. Anyone who gets into politics – and wants to get something done – has to make concessions in order to work with the cast of dysfunctional actors that get into positions of influence and make such a mess of the world. So we can either just throw our hands up in the air and give up, or try to put into office the people that we think will do the best job of holding on to their integrity – and thank them profusely for being willing to put up with the political stench around them as they try to get something positive done. With that cynical perspective as a preface, Martha Coakley is one of the few people I have worked up the energy to actually support over the past many years. She was a classmate of mine at Williams, so I have known her long before she knew she was going into politics. It would be very hard to find anyone who knew her then who didn’t like and respect her. From where I sit, she is doing as good a job of holding on to her integrity as anyone could do in this awful age of narcissistic commentators and self-righteous bloggers, mostly people who seem to lack the capacity for self-awareness, critical thinking and complex thought. From where I sit, Martha has actually been able to hold onto ideals that inform her decision making, and a capacity to reflect on what might serve the greater good, rather than what might be politically expedient and self-serving. There are those who will only scrutinize the political concessions that the system demands and who will speak about Martha as if they really knew something about her. They don’t. Because I have known Martha for a long time, I see the price that she has to pay to get in there – in the manure pile of politics – to try to move a complicated world in a better direction. Don’t agree with her vision of that better world? Fine. Make your voice heard. We always need lots of perspectives to keep us from getting blinded by our own perceptual bias. But remember our founding fathers, when they devised this political system, held out hope that people would engage with each other based upon thought and reflection concerning what would keep our shared republic strong, rather than upon primitive and self-serving emotions. I have thought about it and I’m supporting Martha.

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