Thursday, December 02, 2010

I Hate The War

Today the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell review the Pentagon conducted. Ava's covered it at Trina's site with "Senators Scott Brown and Roland Burris (Ava)," Wally's covered it at Rebecca's site with "Senate Armed Services Committee" and Kat's covered it at her own site with "Where I find time to praise Ben Nelson."

Two standout moments not covered in the above or in the snapshot. Senator Evan Bayh noting, "There just seems to be something fundamentally wrong when we ask men and women to lay down their lives for their country and yet they cannot be honest about who they are." That was one of the better moments.

One of the worst?

You know it's John McCain, right? He didn't know what he was talking about. He was lecturing Robert Gates about how troops could make decisions about who they wanted to serve with and, this is in the snapshot, the reality is, no they can't. Then he starts talking about how he knows "PERSONALLY" and I'm really surprised no one's running with that -- even as a humor feature -- because how does he know about gay behavior "PERSONALLY"? I can only think of one way. Did McCain come out in today's hearing? (John McCain's not gay. He just made himself sound that way today.)

He wanted to grandstand on his own military history but didn't want to be bound by facts. He wanted to hiss and boo WikiLeaks and talk about justice but he doesn't even know the American justice system.

In his worst moment, he declared, "So far all we know is that one Private First Class is responsible for all of this." Of the WikiLeaks.

Is he trying to say PFC Bradley Manning is running WikiLeaks?

Or is he trying to say Bradley Manning was the leak to WikiLeaks?

Neither makes any sense because Bradley Manning hasn't had a trial, hasn't entered a plea. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. That's not a difficult concept, I don't know why John McCain struggles with it so.

Of non-McCain crazy moments, I'd probably award it to Carl Levin for his grandstanding on the WikiLeaks issue.

It was a long hearing. A few e-mails came in on the snapshot and Lieberman. Some felt I was wrong to praise Lieberman. You're entitled to your opinion and I won't try to change your mind. I stated he was doing it correctly, he was making the right remarks in the hearing. If you doubt that, he goes one-on-one with Saxby Chambliss -- with Jim Lehrer moderating -- on The NewsHour (link has text, video and audio) and notice how he wins. I say that not because I agree with Lieberman (although I do) but because he ends up working in the core beliefs that make up the notions of what America should be. Saxby Chambliss is a formidable opponent. I am really surprised that Lieberman stood his ground and, in fact, won on points. But he did.

In terms of Joe Lieberman there were also a few questions. I really don't feel like doing a lot of links -- I'm tired, I wrote my columns for the newsletters early this morning because I knew it was going to be a long day, and we've got another Senate hearing tomorrow morning. But obviously, I'm going to have to weigh in on something. I'll have this in the snapshot tomorrow in some form. But as Marcia and Betty noted so very well, if someone's wrong they're wrong. We're not groupies. Betty linked to a piece at Corrente and the comment thread became a pig-pen for various reasons. But one of the issues was Hugh and some woman. No one's talking to each other, no one's listening.

This ties in to Joe Lieberman how? Joe can be a liberal on many issues. In addition to LGBT rights (he has a heroic position on that), he's also very good on abortion rights. But Joe is also a War Hawk. There are liberal hawks. Hugh and the woman suffer from a problem that is basically, "I'm the left!" countered with "No, I am!"

In the woman's mind, Hillary's a great lefty for a number of reasons. And when she lists them, they're feminist reasons. That's fine. I'm a feminist as well. But when Hugh is addressing Hillary, he's talking about Iraq, he's talking about Iran. He's not really concerned with the same criteria of judgment that the woman is. And no conversation's taking place. You can be a liberal or a lefty and a hawk. Hugh obviously feels Hillary is a Hawk and that cancels out other things. That is his opinion and he's entitled to it. The woman doesn't even address Iraq. She's just interested in what Hillary has done for women and girls -- and Hillary's done a lot of work, a lifetime of work, on those issues. Instead of talking, these people who presumably all like each other since they all hang out and comment to each other at Corrente, are each hunkered down with "I know what left is!" But they've never agreed to a shared term.

Joe Lieberman did some good things today. He's done good things before. And if I've heard him make sound points at hearings we attended before, I've included them. Fair is fair. I've also called Joe Lieberman out here repeatedly and I will never, ever forget his Meet the Press appearance in November 2000 and how he lost the recounts for Al Gore in that appearance. But if I'm covering a hearing, I'm covering that. If a Republican makes a sound point, we note it. If independent Joe Lieberman makes a sound point, we note it.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4430. Tonight it is still [PDF format warning] 4432.

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