Thursday, December 19, 2013

Iraq and the American electorate


From September 30, 2007, that's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Bloody War Hawks" reflecting the front runners refusal in the MSNBC debate to agree to withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2013.  (Those who've forgotten that moment can see Rebecca's "craven dems and disgusting peter pace," Kat's "Obama, Edwards & Clinton okay with US trops in Iraq until 2013" and this"Iraq snapshot" for more. )

The 2016 US presidential race is already gearing up.  

We've ignored it.  We'd continue to but Iraq's cleverly emerged.

I wouldn't be surprised if that was the result of David Sirota.  Who ever thought of it, it's genius.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is in Iowa testing the waters regarding running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

He's saying a lot of smart things -- including that Barack's a "corporatist." He is, we've called him that for years (such as "Turning to the War Hawk Corpratist, [. . .]" December 2, 2008 snapshot).

But, most important, Schweitzer's raising Iraq.

Jennifer Jacobs (Des Moines Register) reports:

The Iraq war, which killed 5,000 U.S. soldiers and as many as 100,000 people, was about oil, he told an audience of about 80 people at an event for the liberal grass-roots group Progress Iowa.
“When we were attacked at 9/11 by 17 Saudis and two Egyptians who called themselves al-Qaida, who weren’t welcome in Iraq, and George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to go to that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana,” he said.
“I didn’t vote for that war, and I didn’t think it was a good idea,” he said. “The reason I’m in Iowa, in part, is because I’m asking you to pick the leaders that are going to say, 'We’re not going to make those mistakes.'"
Schweitzer didn’t mention that the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, voted in 2002 as a U.S. senator representing New York to authorize the war.

In a second article, Jacobs notes the remarks he delivered to the crowd (above) but also this passage after he left the microphone:

After his speech, asked about Clinton’s vote, Schweitzer answered with a grin, “Did she vote for it? I didn’t keep track. I think there were 21 Democrats who didnt vote for it, she might’ve been one of those.”

Peter Hamby (CNN) adds:

In a speech to Iowa Democrats in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona, and in remarks to reporters, Schweitzer repeatedly chided Senate Democrats who voted in 2002 to green light military action in Iraq.
Clinton, then a senator from New York, voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, a decision that badly damaged her credibility
with the Democratic base and allowed Barack Obama to win over anti-war liberals in their 2008 nomination fight.
“Anybody who runs in this cycle, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, if they were the United States Senate and they voted with
George Bush to go to Iraq when I would say about 98 percent of America knows that it was a folly, that it was a waste of treasure and blood,
and if they voted to go to Iraq there will be questions for them on the left and from the right,” he told CNN.
Later, in his remarks to a holiday party organized by the liberal group Progress Iowa, Schweitzer asked the roughly 70 audience members
to keep the Iraq war vote in mind as they begin to think about potential candidates passing through the state.
“When George Bush got a bunch of Dems to vote for that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana,” he said, noting that he opposed the war
(though he didn’t have to vote on it). “I’m asking you to pick the leaders who aren’t going to make those mistakes.”

That's smart in so many ways.

First, Hillary's not the natural candidate Bill is.  Second, she's had years to address her Iraq War vote and stupidly never did.

It was stupid in 2007 to avoid it, it was stupid in 2008 to avoid it.  The only smart thing her presidential campaign did was allow Bill to address the fact that Barack was lying about his own record and how, by 2004, he was publicly supporting war on Iraq.  They should have hit hard on that but Bill was the only one who realized this could be Barack's weakness.

Hillary's campaign was out of it.  When you had idiots like The Progressive's Ruth Conniff going on KPFA to say that Barack voted against the war in 2002 while he was in the Senate, you needed to combat the lying.  (For starters, Barack wasn't in the Senate in 2002.  But Barack whore Aimee Allison wasn't going to correct Connif.)

The whole thing was a fairy tale, just like Bill said.  And the fairy tale was told not just by Barack but also by the media -- All Things Media Big and Small.

Barbara Walters was on Piers Morgan (CNN) this week.  Real Clear Politics posted the key moment:

BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you've touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be -- I shouldn't say this at Christmastime -- but the next messiah. And the whole Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act [sic], it just hasn't worked for him. And he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.   It's very difficult when the expectations for you are very high. 

"We" is the media.  The media "thought that he was going to be [. . .] the next messiah."  Barbara's so far in the bubble she hasn't spoken of or for We The People in decades.  But the press whored and they oohed-and-ahhed.   Remember the ridiculous moment caught on video where reporters went wild because Barack was wearing blue jeans?

People get 2008 wrong.  It wasn't about who the media wanted to have a beer with.  It was about who they wanted to f**k them.  They didn't want McCain.

They wanted Barack.

But, as became clear this year, Barack can't get it up.

Brian's remarks address not just Hillary but 2008 expectations.

The public has turned on Barack.  That won't change.  We explained this last year and I'm not going to waste my morning going over it again.  The polling results prove our analysis correct.  And, as we noted when Bully Boy Bush had his 2005 great fall, when you drop that low you can never come back -- maybe for a week due to an outside event but it's only going to be temporary.

The public's hugely disappointed in Barack.

Brian bringing up Iraq reminds them of that.  Barack, because of his lies regarding Iraq, was seen as a different kind of politician but he's turned out to be Bully Boy Bush.

Schweitzer's remarks remind America that they wanted a different kind of politician in 2008 as well as the fact that they didn't get a different kind.  Could this Montana governor be what they were hoping for, what they really needed?

That's how you run on Barack's hopes.

They're ashes now, the hopes and dreams he inspired in so many.

But people wanted very badly to believe in him.

Brian taps into that with Iraq.  And he does so while criticizing Barack which allows him to come off as a reality-based dream.

In the process, he knocks Joe Biden out of consideration.

Joe could win the party's nomination but I don't think he could win the general election.  I like Joe, he's a great guy, but he's too tied to Barack.  Barack is a sinking ship and he will take everyone down with him.  He's also 'in charge' of Iraq (but overruled constantly by Barack's advisors) and 2009 forward is not a good time to be seen as in charge of Iraq.

Hillary's also too tied to Barack and to Iraq.

As Secretary of State, she could have presented a new Hillary.

She didn't.

The woman screaming for war on Libya and war on Syria (after she had stepped down from the administration), the woman screaming at the Senate about Benghazi?

Those Hillarys look a lot like the Bloody War Hawk many Americans saw her as in 2007.

Hillary's not going to get the nomination.

Brian's ensuring that.

It could clear the field for Elizabeth Warren or someone else, it could clear the field for Brian.

But Iraq is Hillary's weakness to this day.

She was seen as cruel and calculating, uncaring about human life.

And she went out as Secretary of State by bellowing, "What difference at this point does it make!"  See the January 23rd "Iraq snapshot," the January 24th "Iraq snapshot," Wally's "Facts matter, Hillary (Wally),"   Ava's "20 are still at risk says Hillary in an aside (Ava)," Ruth's "Like watching Richard Nixon come back to life" and Kat's  "Can she not answer even one damn question?"  The press tried to spin that, suddenly they were Hillary's friends.  It can't be spun.  Read what Wally wrote and grasp that Wally dropped out of college to work full time on Hillary's 2008 campaign.  Her performance was outrageous and disgusting.

It was also deeply, deeply stupid.

If the charge against you is that you're a cold, hard bitch, you don't alter that image in a Senate hearing on the 4 dead Americans (Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens) by snarling, "What difference at this point does it make!"

She couldn't have looked more heartless if she'd worn a t-shirt that read, "I am one cold bitch."

She has had nearly a year to address that awful moment.

She's avoided it just like she did with Iraq.

Probably because, as with Iraq, the press pretended it was no big deal to set her up as the first front runner in 2007.  They didn't do that because they liked her.  They did it to have someone to take down in 2008.  They need to drama to sell their papers, drive their net traffic and get viewers to tune in.  The early front runner rarely grabs the nomination.

So Hillary was stupid in 2008 and remains too stupid today to realize what problems she has.

If she can't address them before she announces her run, then she doesn't need to announce a run.

She will be attacked and the laziest among her attackers will use sexism.

I for one am not in the mood to have to defend her every day.

She's too stupid to address her own image problems.

That includes drawing a line between herself and Barack.

That was always going to be necessary, Brian's remarks in Iowa and Barack's polling only make it more necessary.

Hillary wrongly thinks you get points for doing the right thing.  She got no points for supporting MoveOn when Barack refused to.  She got no points for pledging that if she became president she wouldn't allow Blackwater, et al in Iraq when Barack refused to.

She's not Bill and she won't listen to Bill.

You're not what your record is, you're what your opponent says you are until you prove in real time that you're not.

That's the truth about elections today.

Nobody's reading your campaign bio to decide whether to vote for you or not.  They're following the attacks on you from other campaigns and they give you the time of soundbyte to respond.  If you can't or won't, they believe the attacks.

And the press long ago bailed on reporting.

Election 'reporting' today is the equivalent of a daytime drama synopsis in Soap Opera Digest.

They're just going to chart the drama, not do any reporting.

Should he decide to run, Brian Schweitzer may get the Democratic Party nomination.  He's already clearing the field in Iowa as a non-candidate.

And, should he run, his remarks also inspire volunteers.  The Iraq War was a generation defining moment -- a fact so many over 35 still can't grasp.  Young voters -- including those who voted for Barack -- are hugely disenchanted with Barack.  Brian's remarks are a way to connect with them and, in fact, to implicitly argue that the 2016 election can be a 'do-over' election.

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