• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Jeopardy!
    jmac on Jeopardy!
    William on Jeopardy!
    riverdaughter on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    campskunk on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Memorial Day
    eurobrat on One Tiny Mistake…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    riverdaughter on Evil people want to shove a so…
    campskunk on Evil people want to shove a so…
    eurobrat on D E F A U L T
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Tina Turner (1939-2023)
    jmac on D E F A U L T
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    June 2023
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

Go there, Digby.

You are very close. All you need is the F word to put it all together and add a dash of second amendment.

That ought to keep you up at night.

Iraq: The project that will not die

Open Carry extremists in Texas

Open Carry extremists in Texas

The first significant split I had with my brother happened over Iraq.  That’s because he was struck with temporary moronity  propagated by Fox News that trickled down to all of the other media outlets by what I suspect was a small evil group of psy-ops specialists.

It’s hard to be the only scientist in the family.  I’m sure I sounded like some unpleasant klaxon harshing the “let’s go kick some Haji ass!” mellow.  Everyone in America seemed to be on the same team.  There was no talking to them. There was no proof that there were WMDs in the desert.  There was no evidence for a nuclear weapons industry.  And you could be damn sure that if there was oil to be had there, it was going to be hoarded by the companies who went in there to get it.  That last one was a particularly difficult concept to get across.  They just didn’t understand WHY you would want to withhold oil from the global market.  It just sounded crazy.

So, now Iraq is falling apart and Obama wants to sit on the sidelines and let it happen.  In a way, that’s understandable.  It wasn’t his war.  He didn’t start it.  Also, he supposedly gave a speech about it that no one can find a record of.  And there’s that Nobel he needs to live up to.

But part of the responsibilities of being the leader of the free world is having to do some pretty unpleasant things.  I never thought that the president that took over from Bush in 2008 was going to be able to walk out of Iraq on the first day.  You don’t have to be a “war monger” to realize that stabilizing a country that has been deliberately de-stabilized by a bunch of ideological and greedy nut cases is a top priority.

But I get the feeling that the Obama campaign never got over its campaign mindset.  It’s been all about being the fricking cock-on-the-walk and controlling the foreign policy to the point of strangulation lest a political rival look good.  What followed was not a serious commitment to responsible behavior  but a couple of announcements that the war was over even though the country is still a chaotic mess.  I’m as disappointed with some of the pacifism at all costs people on the left as I am with the haji-kickers on the right.  Getting out of Iraq was never going to be easy and not laying the ground work for doing so carefully is going to hurt all of us.

For one thing, we can all expect gas prices to spike now.  Yep, it’s going to happen.  And if we are on a saddle point of plunging back into recession, this is certainly going to help that along.  When oil spikes, everything gets more expensive.  Poorer people are already wondering where they’re going to get the money to feed their kids.  Imagine how that’s going to go when the already high cost of food goes even higher.  How do you get to work?  What’s going to happen to the industries that rely on tourism?

But that’s a little selfish whining from some first world citizen, right?  I mean, how would you like to be a Kurd watching as the US prepares to screw you over again 30 years later?  Or any Iraqi really who lived through the last 10 years?  And if there weren’t religious extremists in the country 10 years ago, there sure are now because there is nothing that will create dangerous extremism better than instability and economic hardship.

There’s a warning there for Americans but we’ll probably be too distracted and hypnotized to realize what it is before it’s too late.

More on Hillary’s Message about Choice

Last night, I caught the tail end of Digby’s episode on Virtually Speaking.  Now, I like Digby.  I can be critical, and I will be in a moment, but I have to say that there are very few writers on the left that write with the clarity and precision of Digby.  Most of the time, she is spot on when it comes to analyzing issues.  During the last four years, I have dumped a lot of blogs from my reading list for their shameless selling out to the Obama dudes.  Taylor Marsh, DailyKos and TalkLeft come immediately to mind.  But I’ve always read Digby because she’s just that good.

But I think she’s wrong about Hillary’s “Safe, legal and rare” approach to abortion.  I am firmly convinced, after watching and reading Hillary Clinton’s opinions and speeches over the last 20 years, that she focuses almost all of her efforts on prevention so that abortions are unnecessary.  And why should she care to make them unnecessary?  It’s because they are inconvenient, difficult to obtain, sometimes dangerous and expensive in many parts of the world, including this country.  I don’t think that is a comment on how icky abortion is.  It’s more a comment on reality.   We technically have abortion on demand in this country but compared to even the most progressive nations in the world, and I do not count the US among those nations, abortion on demand throughout all nine months is unheard of.  That’s because women in the most progressive nations have access to good contraception, education about family planning and sexuality and social support systems for women who decide to carry their pregnancies to term.  If you put your emphasis on prevention up front, you have less to worry about afterwards and this leads to *more* power for women, not less.

I don’t know why this concept is so difficult to understand.  The prevention first position represents a significant amount of thought on the issue of reproductive rights from an empowerment and a societal point of view.  The abortion on demand, damn the torpedos, full speed ahead position represents, in my mind at least, a lack of planning, foresight and attention to detail.  It turns women into beggars because if societal sentiment ever changes through the efforts of a very vocal minority, there is no multiple backup system firmly embedded in the rest of society to pick up the slack. Finally, “safe, legal and rare” is proactive about sexuality while “abortion on demand at any time” is reactive.  The latter is what you get when everyone accepts the purity ring mentality.

But here’s the reason why I think the left missed a crucial opportunity for women when they took a pass on Hillary.  Watch her comments from the Women in the World event from a few days ago again:

There are two points she makes that illustrate that she gets it and has a mastery of this issue that Obama can’t touch.

The first is Choice.  The one thing that fundamentalists do not like for themselves or others is choice.  They see the world in binary.  You are either good or bad, a slut or a mother, saved or damned.  There is no room in their world for choice.  Choice makes them uncomfortable.  Nauseous even.  They want a world where their choices are made for them.  They want to be able to consult a book and have the answers written out.  If you’re a man, you conduct your life one way, if you’re a woman, you conduct your life another.  There are no choices.  Stick to the rules and no one gets hurt.  Your personal opinions, talents and goals are not important.  It’s a very Taliban mentality.  But that’s the way they want our country to operate.  To restrict choices to those strictly defined for each gender as written in the bible relieves their anxiety.  Whether this anxiety is natural or induced doesn’t matter.  Choice is to be avoided at all cost.

The second is Extremism.  She is saying that Extremists have it in for women.  She is not singling out any religion in particular and in fact, she says she values the right of each woman to make a choice about how she wants to worship.  But Hillary is saying that Extremists use religion to advance their goals.  Extremists are enemies of democracy.  She also says that the measure of a democracy is determined by how we treat women.  The logical conclusion is that you can’t have a democracy if you allow extremists to restrict the choices of a sizeable segment of your population.  We have seen that this is true in many countries around the world and are witnessing it in Israel and here in the US right now.

These are the points that Obama fails to acknowledge when it comes to addressing the contraception issue.  He fails to associate the word “choice” with freedom and “extremism” with an assault on democracy.

You Democratic party loyalists can talk amongst yourselves about why Obama fails to do this.  To me, his rationale is not important.  All that is important is that he fails to do it. But it is this precision of thought and analysis, which Digby herself should admire, that has always defined Hillary’s approach from Obama’s to me and why we “Hillary Holdouts” miss her voice on the domestic stage so sorely. It makes all of the difference.