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July 15, 2008

Comments

Caught Obama's speech before coming to work and thought it was the most presidential he has looked to date.

Caught Bush's press conference and he looked . . . useless. Why does he even bother?

McCain knows how to win wars. He knew how to win in Vietnam. In fact, he could've stopped World War II before it even started. But young McCain was well aware of the terrible consequences of using his awesome power too soon, too publicly. No, he can neither explain nor demonstrate any of this knowledge until he is sworn in as President of the United States. Please vote for him so he can finally do this.

McCain is definately more qualified to lead our nation to victory in Iraq and Afganistan than is Obama. Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief.

But still, the question remain. Do we want to win in Iraq and Afganistan? If we do than McCain is the better choice. If we don't care about winning then Obama will do just fine.

Hilzoy, you really are taken by the fact that Obama can read a teleprompter speech written by someone else really well.

How one gives a speech should not be the standard by which to judge a mans qualifications to be commander in chief.

Unfortunately with Obama that is all you have.

With McCain we have decades of evidence showing his knowledge and competence concerning issues of national defense.

On this subject the win goes to McCain.

Even a liberal like me can see that.

My concern with McCain's speach is this:

"I know how to win wars."

That's kind of open ended, isn't it? If it's so easy to win wars, it should be even 3asier to start them. And what, pray tell, makes him so qualified? His long experience in winning wars? Um, which ones were those?

OMG, he called September 11 a "bright and beautiful day" ... the New Yorker was right!!!

With McCain we have decades of evidence showing his knowledge and competence concerning issues of national defense.

Yeah, like McCain's call to invade Iraq in the first place!

Starting back in 1998!

Then McCain's insistence all along that things in Iraq were going well!

Then McCain's claim that al-Qaeda is training in Iran!

and the list goes on...

McCain's speech followed a predictable pattern.
1) Insult Obama.
2) Steal chunks of his policy wholesale.

Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief.

I shall spare you the list of excellent presidents with no military experience, mostly because I dont want to bother compiling it & doubt you'd bother to read or consider it. But it exists, at least hypothetically- and even in that tenuous state, it completely wrecks your argument.

ken,

To paraphrase Obama, how is it losing (or surrender) if the Iraq government itself wants us to leave?

Haven't we been there long enough for the Iraq people to have a say in how and when they govern themselves?

Or is it the Bush-McCain plan to simply occupy that country?

Or maybe it was McCain calling for the expulsion of Russia from the G-8!

Good grief.

With McCain we have decades of evidence showing his knowledge and competence concerning issues of national defense.

Example: McCain supported the invasion of Iraq. Obama opposed it. Silly Obama, if only he understood military matters.

Ken says:

"McCain is definately more qualified to lead our nation to victory in Iraq and Afganistan than is Obama. Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief."

Okay, Ken ... if that's more than a self-proving statement of your personal opinion, then answer me this:

(1) If McCain so qualified, why then is he so ccompletely incoherent when he tries to explain his policies? If McCain is so knowledgable and all, why can't he express that knowledge?

(2) Why is McCain now flip-flopping on the need for more combat brigades in Afghanistan? He was against it before he suddenly came out for it ... today. After Obama gave his speech.

I eagerly await your answer. And, no, another statement about the character and wonderfulness and leadership skills of John McCain will not do. I want specifics.

Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief.

Then again, McCain just flipped over to Obama's position on Afghanistan, so maybe all that "experience and intimate knowledge" doesn't matter much.

So let's be clear. Senator McCain would have our troops continue to fight tour after tour of duty, and our taxpayers keep spending $10 billion a month indefinitely; I want Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future, and to reach the political accommodation necessary for long-term stability.

To be honest, I think the US should pay a couple of billions a month to the Iraqis for the next 15 to 20 years.

Ken, hilzoy is discussing the merits of the speech, not how they were delivered. The qualification discussion is in what the candidate is saying he will do if elected, not how it is being said.

My guess is, further, that Obama has a lot more to do with the writing of his speeches than McCain with his.

I'm sure even a (paid?) troll like you can understand that.

Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief.

Then again, McCain just flipped over to Obama's position on Afghanistan, so maybe all that "experience and intimate knowledge" doesn't matter much.

Hilzoy, you really are taken by the fact that Obama can read a teleprompter speech written by someone else really well.

ken, where did Hilzoy mention his delivery? I thought she liked the ideas and plans he set forth.

Watched a documentary on the Missles of October crisis the other night on the Military Channel.

What was breathtaking was Kennedy's combination of restraint and forcefulness.

Restraint -- not a word you associate with Bush or McCain or the rest of the bloodthirsty neocons.

Alex,

I wouldn't be suprised if Obama wrote the majority of the speech.

And I would argue that McCain or Obama's delievery does matter: communicating is a handy to skill for the President of the United States to have. (See Reagan, Ronald, or Clinton, Bill.)

Obama also tried to put some focus back on finding Bin Laden.

You never hear Bush or McCain mention his name these days.

I realize that Mccain's 'experience' in the military is a thing that voters care about, but I still don't understand why being a PoW gives him a stronger knowledge of COMMANDING the army in this particular situation than with Obama.

The double-surge approach seems really incoherent.

Also, it's hard to resort to 'Mccain's record' when he's deviated radically from his 'record' in order to placate more traditionally conservative folks..

"Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief."

McCain knows how to fly A-1 Skyraiders, and A-4 Skyhawks. He knows how to survive captivity. He knows how to be a Lt. Commander flying ground-attack planes in the Sixties. He knows how to to be a junior Congressional liason.

That's the extent of his military experience. Please specify, with cites, any further military experience you believe John McCain has that is relevant to being commander in chief, or even commander of a major number of personnel.

Thanks!

"Do we want to win in Iraq and Afganistan? If we do than McCain is the better choice."

Yes, "because I say so" is a powerful argument, indeed. Very substantive, ken.

"I shall spare you the list of excellent presidents with no military experience, mostly because I dont want to bother compiling it & doubt you'd bother to read or consider it."

How about FDR? Then there's the fact that Abe Lincoln's military experience was limited to more or less nothing, a brief term in a militia.

Some generals who, on the other hand, ran for the Presidency and lost: George McClellan, Winfield Scott Hancock, Winfield Scott (not a typo!).

But if military experience is so important, why didn't we elect George McGovern, or Bob Dole?

And who would deny that Dick Nixon's vast military experience qualified him to be our leader during the Vietnam War?

Yes, another sound argument.

"Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief."

McCain knogws how to fly A-1 Skyraiders, and A-4 Skyhawks. He knows how to survive captivity. He knows how to be a Lt. Commander flying ground-attack planes in the Sixties. He knows how to to be a junior Congressional liason.

That's the extent of his military experience. Please specify, with cites, any further military experience you believe John McCain has that is relevant to being commander in chief, or even commander of a major number of personnel.

Thanks!

"Do we want to win in Iraq and Afganistan? If we do than McCain is the better choice."

Yes, "because I say so" is a powerful argument, indeed. Very substantive, ken.

"I shall spare you the list of excellent presidents with no military experience, mostly because I dont want to bother compiling it & doubt you'd bother to read or consider it."

How about FDR? Then there's the fact that Abe Lincoln's military experience was limited to more or less nothing, a brief term in a militia.

Some generals who, on the other hand, ran for the Presidency and lost: George McClellan, Winfield Scott Hancock, Winfield Scott (not a typo!).

But if military experience is so important, why didn't we elect George McGovern, or Bob Dole?

And who would deny that Dick Nixon's vast military experience qualified him to be our leader during the Vietnam War?

Yes, another sound argument.

"Obama does not have the experience and intimate knowledge of military matters that McCain has and which qualifies him as commander in chief."

McCain says he know how to win wars.

mm k. fine. which wars has he won ?

don't bother listing them all, just the top two or three will suffice.

It is amusing that people who consider themselves liberal cannot look at the candidates objectively and weight the merits of each based upon their records (or lack thereof).

It is just a plain obvious fact that John McCain, with his military exprereince as well as his legislative experience in the Senate is better prepared for being commander in chief than Obama. Obama has as much qualifying experience for the job as as does Hilzoy.

I'm not trying to disrespect Hilzoy by making this point. I could have named Gary Farber or any one else whose name is well recognized here instead.

I understand that most of the people here are a lot younger than I so do not have the same life experience I have of actually watching John McCain for the last twenty some years. But if you can get over your infatuation with Obama for a few moments and just look at his record you will see why we almost had a chance to vote for him as a Democratic VP in 2004.

John McCain, for a liberal democrat like myself, is a pretty decent alternative to Barack Obama. I qualify that by saying that I'm not that enthusiastic about McCain, but Obama is someone I just cannot vote for so I am looking seriously at him as a possible presidential choice.

John McCain, a son and grandson of admirals who graduated the Naval Academy 894th in a class of 899, know how to lose airplanes. The fifth plane that he lost resulted in his captivity. To be sure, after his capture, he showed admirable courage. That is a far cry, however, from a qualification to serve as commander-in-chief.

John McCain, for a liberal democrat like myself, is a pretty decent alternative to Barack Obama.

you've got one seriously fncked-up definition of "liberal Democrat" if McCain meets any of the criteria.

It is just a plain obvious fact that John McCain, with his military exprereince as well as his legislative experience in the Senate is better prepared for being commander in chief than Obama.

Wow, "it's obvious." Your reasoning is ever more trenchant. Let me do you the courtesy of addressing what you actually say, a courtesy you continue to refuse to extend to others here.

Yes, McCain has a better resume. In that sense, he is more "prepared." But more prepared in that sense is not actually the same thing as "better." Lots of people with fine resumes cannot do the job. It's called the Peter Principle.

John McCain, for a liberal democrat like myself, is a pretty decent alternative to Barack Obama.

What sort of a liberal democrat is a liberal democrat like yourself, exactly? Does it have anything to do with wanting liberal aims, or voting Democratic? But let's pretend I believe you: why is McCain a good alternative? Is there some liberal policy he supports?

Obama is someone I just cannot vote for

I'm sorry to hear about your neurological impairment. It seems unusually specific. Have you been to a doctor about that inability?

Ken,

Congratulations. That was the best thread jerk I've seen in weeks! One key element of its success is your statement's complete lack of rational support. It's just too juicy a target. No one can stay on topic.

i knew there was a reason "ken" was once in my pie filter. time to update it.

I'm just curious what liberal policies and ideas ken supports that allows him to self-classify as liberal. I'd certainly like a checklist, so that when we get in a discussion, I can acknowledge ken's support on the liberal side.

It is just a plain obvious fact...

It's not like you're using this fact to build an argument supporting a conclusion. It *is* your conclusion.
However old you might be, I just don't see the point in you're reiteration of your faith in that conclusion over and over again. If your conclusion is based on something, perhaps you could reveal it? It's not like you're not getting the opportunities here- do you think McCain was right on Iraq in 2002-2003? Do you think McCain was right on Afghanistan from 2003-2007? Do you feel that he is right on Iran? Securing Russia's old nuclear weapons? Do you feel that service in the military makes one inherently a better CIC than anyone who did not? Do you feel that 20 years in the Senate is enough to qualify anyone for President?

You know, my father served in the US armed forces, including manning a helicopter door gun and serving as ground infantry in Vietnam, for 28 years, and was never once taken prisoner by anyone, ever. I do not think this qualifies him to be President.

I'm just curious what liberal policies and ideas ken supports that allows him to self-classify as liberal

ken, iirc, was a booster of HRC. So that makes it doubly curious, given how close those two were policy-wise (and the biggest deviation imo, on heathcare, put HRC to the left of Obama).

I'm not wading into the fight as such, but I want to point out to folks that the McCain campaign is soliciting sockpuppets and comment spam on its official website. At the link, Teresa Nielsen Hayden dissects the solicitation very thoroughly. (This is an ongoing concern of hers; see, among many others, this link-rich look at other groups faking popular support for the movement conservative machine.)

Without IP info and such, I'm in no position to say that our new Ken is the sort of person the McCain campaign is recruiting. But his posts do fit the template pretty well. FYI.

Why are we engaging the troll?

I have a comment about folks writing in Ken's style, stuck in the moderation queue for a whopping two links. If someone could shake it loose, I'd be appreciative.

yes, ken was a booster of HRC. To ken, I realize that you are probably younger than I am, and therefore fascinated by hero worship, which may be what attracts you to McCain. However, having watched McCain for the past 20 plus years, plus putting him in line with other "moderate" Republicans I have seen, I cannot, as a moderate Democrat (not even what one would necessarily cakk liberal) see any reason to vote for him.
He has no "record" to speak of, in fact, other than in years served, his actual legislative experience is less than Obama's. His record of actually being a leader or organizer is non-existent whereas Obama has a much deeper resume in that regard, deeper even than Clinton's.

So yes, you did a nice thread jack but next time, try to provide some semblance of arguement behind your statement. Even BOB does that occassionally.

John in Nashville: That is a far cry, however, from a qualification to serve as commander-in-chief.

Forget the military experience then. Two terms in the House, almost 22 years in the Senate, and more than 20 years on the Armed Services Committee is objectively more experience for CiC than some time as a state legislator and 3 years in the Senate.

And five planes? I guess if you want to count the Forrestal disaster as number four. If the accidental discharge of a rocket (from a plane other than his) while sitting on the flight deck counts as a “losing an airplane” then I guess you can get to four, but I’d note that twenty other aircraft were “lost” that day along with 134 souls. And then you can count being shot down as “losing a plane” for number five. You could do that. But I’ll call BS.

Look, I don’t want him to win. I don’t believe that he has the temperament for the job, and I’m becoming more concerned every day that this is all just too much for him. But it has nothing to do with his experience – he has tons more than the other guy. And I’m just tired of the “we all honor his service” but “maybe his service wasn’t all that” meme.

Raising the issue of experience is just a losing proposition for Democrats as it really just highlights how inexperienced Obama is. Better to stick with other issues IMO.

Good point, OC, but what should one do when someone else raises it? It seems that the essence of the modern campaign is defense, not attack.

Forget the military experience then.

Done!

Two terms in the House, almost 22 years in the Senate, and more than 20 years on the Armed Services Committee is objectively more experience for CiC than some time as a state legislator and 3 years in the Senate.

I don't understand why House and Senate time counts as relevant experience for being President. Congressfolk don't actually have executive authority over anything more than their own staffs; they're not making budget decisions, they're not negotiating with foreign nations, and most of them aren't delving particularly deeply into policy analysis. In fact, much of their time is wasted sucking up to donors for re-election money.

The Presidency is a really strange job and I suspect that there are very few positions that give one good experience for being President. That being the case, I'm pretty sure that being a Senator is not one of them.

But maybe I'm wrong: can you explain what specific skills and experience Senators or Senators on the Armed Services committee develop that would be relevant to the Presidency?

And five planes?

I'm with OCSteve on this; there's just no way that the Forrestal incident can be considered McCain's fault.

On the other hand, the first three times he destroyed US military aircraft don't really have such good excuses. To be honest, I have trouble believing that anyone who wasn't an admiral's son could have gotten into flight school with such an atrocious record at the Naval Academy and I'm even more suspicious that any pilot who was responsible for losing three aircraft through accident or negligence would be given a fourth an be allowed to continue flying.

Raising the issue of experience is just a losing proposition for Democrats as it really just highlights how inexperienced Obama is. Better to stick with other issues IMO.

You're probably right regarding how voters will react, i.e., the optics of the issue. But in terms of substance, I don't think McCain's experience helps because it is not relevant.

Raising the issue of experience is just a losing proposition for Democrats as it really just highlights how inexperienced Obama is.

McCain just declared, flatly, that he "knows how to win wars". he's taken whatever experience he has and inflated it to the level of someone like Eisenhower or, i dunno, Lincoln. but he doesn't have any experience winning wars. he's never led any war, let alone a victory. he's lying about his experience. that can be raised, up over his head, and brought down with a righteous fury.

I have no knowledge about, and therefore no views on, McCain's history as a fighter, other than: no, being shot down should not count as trashing a plane or anything, absent evidence of some sort of negligence, which I'm just going to assume doesn't exist here. Nor do I care, as far as the election is concerned: I do not, actually, think that being a pilot is a big qualification for office.

I think that serving in Congress is a very important kind of experience, since it normally involves familiarity both with specific issues and with the process of making policy. It does not give you management or executive experience, but it does normally involve other useful things. I had just assumed, going in, that McCain had it all over Obama on this score.

Now, I don't think so. (I'm not questioning that he has more years in Congress, which of course he does.) What is, to me, the really astonishing fact that McCain doesn't seem to know really basic facts about his own policies really makes me wonder what good this experience does him. In foreign policy, even: I'm still reeling from the idea that relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are supposed to be improving. Not to mention the idea that AQ might find a haven in Iran. The latter, especially, is mind-blowing.

Re: Obama Speeches

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
-Barack Obama, Junior, 02 July, Colorado Springs, Colorado

This is kind of creepy. I think that he may be talking about his stated intent to draft all college students as ‘Obama Scouts’, or whatever they will be called, but I’m not sure.

Does anyone know what new civilian security force Obama is talking about?

OCSteve, your rundown of McCains qualifications over Obamas are well known but ignored by most liberals on this site. Why can't they just acknowledge the obvious?

As to McCains temperment and suitability for the job I would remind you that none other than John Kerry wanted McCain to run as his vice president. Kerry's past endorsement of McCain's qualification carries more weight than your thinking he isn't tempermentally qualified today. I almost voted for McCain four years ago on a democratic ticket and I suspect you would have voted against him. So no offense, but I think that as a conservative you never liked McCain anyway. As a liberal democrat I found myself aligned with him on many issues, such as immigration reform, campaign finance reform, curtailing lobbiest influence, veterans affairs, civil rights, etc.

Today McCain is running as a Republican but he hasn't changed. He is the same guy Hilzoy, Farber, Wu, and others almost voted for four years ago. Today however they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge McCains qualities. Instead they play the same old politics that Obama employs and look for gaffes, mistakes and opportunities to distort McCain's words and record into something completely unrecognizable.

Some kind of change, huh.

Trying to find the speech BOB references, it becomes clear where he is getting all his material. I guess he's providing a window into that world.

I think that serving in Congress is a very important kind of experience, since it normally involves familiarity both with specific issues and with the process of making policy.

I think serving in Congress provides an opportunity for people to learn some useful things, but it seems quite easy to spend a few decades in Congress without learning much of anything. Learning useful things in Congress simply has no bearing on one's reelection prospects.

I'd like to see either an explanation of specific skills that accrue to all Congressmen simply by virtue of being in Congress, or, alternatively, skills for which Congress provides people an opportunity to learn followed by evidence that McCain has actually learned them. But either way, talking about McCain's "experience" and saying its a done deal doesn't seem very persuasive.

It does not give you management or executive experience, but it does normally involve other useful things. I had just assumed, going in, that McCain had it all over Obama on this score.

OK, but what useful things does it give you? Rather, what useful lessons does it transmit so strongly that someone who never served in Congress couldn't learn just as well by picking really good legislative aides and reading good books on legislative history?

I mean, the President of the United States has the unique ability to pick brilliant people and get them to advise him on legislative affairs. Being President isn't like being a chemist where you have to know lots of stuff lest you blow up the lab.

I think that he may be talking about his stated intent to draft all college students as ‘Obama Scouts’, or whatever they will be called, but I’m not sure.

Do you ever get tired of lying, or is this one of those things where you're unable to distinguish between lies and truth?

World Net Daily, actually liberal japonicus;

Their attribution was pretty specific to a speech on the 2nd of July in Colorado Springs Colorado, and references the Congressional Quarterly and the Chicago Tribune. WND would have no motivation to fabricate stories that would be proven wrong.

What is Obama talking about?

WND would have no motivation to fabricate stories that would be proven wrong.

Um, yes, yes they would. If they fabricate stories, they get more viewers which means more advertising dollars. And fabricating stories that are later shown to be wrong doesn't really hurt them: most of their readership will never discover that the original story was wrong and even if they do, WND is a trusted source since it is free of liberal "bias", so it can't be wrong. Besides, who the heck is going to point out that WND stories are inaccurate and how would WND readers get exposed to this truth teller?

This seems like a belief that you haven't really thought through very much...

Actually, the Tribune does quote Obama stating just those words in reference to the following: "It also depends on the teacher in East L.A., or the nurse in Appalachia, the after-school worker in New Orleans, the Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, the Foreign Service officer in Indonesia," he said.
So, BOB, a little research would have pointed you to the answetr to your question.

But then I guess teahcers in East L.A> and nurses in Appalachia are threatening to you. Nothing I can do about that.

Two terms in the House, almost 22 years in the Senate, and more than 20 years on the Armed Services Committee is objectively more experience for CiC than some time as a state legislator and 3 years in the Senate.

If we were considering two candidates who were otherwise equal, and the only significant difference between them were the experience you call out here, I'd say that ken had a point.

We're not.

Obama has articulated realistic strategic goals for his foreign policy that take into account the facts on the ground.

McCain has not.

To my eye, advantage Obama.

Does anyone know what new civilian security force Obama is talking about?

Yes. He refers to the Black Muslim Mujahadin, who he will arm with potato guns and install on every street corner in the nation.

Mind your spuds.

Thanks -

BoB: There's this nifty thing called Goolgle that allows you to answer your questions by yourself. However, since we at ObWi live to serve, here (pdf) is Obama's plan for national service, and here is the speech you referred to. I look forward to hearing which parts you think are creepy - the scholarships? The expansion of Americorps? The support for increased veterans' benefits? I am all ears.

Two terms in the House, almost 22 years in the Senate, and more than 20 years on the Armed Services Committee is objectively more experience for CiC than some time as a state legislator and 3 years in the Senate.

As an ex once told me, there's a difference between twenty years of experience and one year of experience repeated twenty times. What exactly has McCain learned since, say, 1980 that he didn't know then? What decisions has he had to make, grand-strategic or strategic or tactical, and how have they worked out?


WND would have no motivation to fabricate stories that would be proven wrong.

Well, maybe you SHOULD quit your day job. That's HILARIOUS.

On the small chance you were serious, I'll refer you to one blog off the top of my head, Ed Brayton's blog , who regularly documents lies and distortions in the World News Daily. Ed, by the way, is much more of a libertarian than anything else...

Thanks Hilzoy. Since you were nice to me, I’ll be nice to Turbulence. Random acts of kindness and all. Here you go Turbulence:

Civilian National Security Force

I don’t think the Chicago Tribune would appreciate WND making up things about their reporting. Maybe you could ask the lawyer types around here with costs associated with stuff like that. They are motivating.

There, BOB, it wasn't all that hard to provide a link, was it? How, for your second assignment, why not find the actual speech that was given so we can see what the context of Obama's remarks are?

My favorite WND moment was when they had to settle out of court in the Clark Jones and this was the settlement statement

Discovery has revealed to WorldNetDaily.com that no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated. Additionally, no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true. Factual discovery in the litigation and response from Freedom of Information Act requests to law enforcement agencies confirm Clark Jones' assertion that his name has never been on law enforcement computers, that he has not been the subject of any criminal investigation nor has he interfered with any investigation as stated in the articles. Discovery has also revealed that the sources named in the publications have stated under oath that statements attributed to them in the articles were either not made by them, were misquoted by the authors, were misconstrued, or the statements were taken out of contextlink

fun stuff.

Ahh, and here is the text of the speech, but it strangely doesn't have the quote that BOB pulls out. I wonder where that came from. Also, bizarrely, John McCormick is not a reporter, but the deputy editorial page director. And coincidentally, he seemed to be involved in the Bernie Mac flap. Curiouser and curiouser...

Sorry, left out the link to the text of the speech

BOB: Excellent. Now if you'd tell me what's alarming about the Chicago Tribune article, I'd be completely up to speed.

"It is just a plain obvious fact that John McCain, with his military exprereince as well as his legislative experience in the Senate is better prepared for being commander in chief than Obama."

Translation: I have no other argument than assertion.

"Why can't they just acknowledge the obvious?"

If it's so obvious, why can't you use your "words" to explain it?

"As a liberal democrat"

All you have to do is say it, and I believe you! Because you write just like a liberal democrat. Oh, so convincingly!

"He is the same guy [...] Farber [...] almost voted for four years ago."

Ah, a direct liar, too.

Ken, if you could make an argument, you would. But you clearly don't even know how.

It's a pretty sad comment on McCain's supporters that this sort of pathetic non-substance is all a fellow like Ken can come up with. An elementary school debate team member has an infinitely larger grasp of what an "argument" is.

"Vote for my guy!" Why? "Uh, it's obvious!"

Sheesh.

"Trying to find the speech BOB references, it becomes clear where he is getting all his material."

Yeah, I tried to get BoB to cop to that some months ago with questions about what his preferred news sources are, since it was pretty clear, but he wouldn't come clean, and instead fibbed about it being mainstream sources, which was obviously untrue, since that's not where his material comes from. It wasn't even a coherent or plausible lie, but, then, it's not the sort of thing you can plausibly claim: that your neo-Nazi notions come from CNN, Time, etc. Because, you know, that's not where those ideas and tropes come from.

Internet fascist radio would also plausibly be an enthusiasm of BoB's.

"WND would have no motivation to fabricate stories that would be proven wrong."

Oh, yes, they're so credible. In fact, the quote is legit, but this is pretty funny. WND would have no motivation! BoB does have a sense of humor.

Bruce: "I'm not wading into the fight as such, but I want to point out to folks that the McCain campaign is soliciting sockpuppets and comment spam on its official website."

It's particularly clueful that they're telling people to go to Instapundit's site to comment. Good luck with that.

It makes perfect sense that the conservative list is the largest, since McCain is hated by lots of conservatives, but still stands far more of a chance of finding some reluctant voters for him on conservative websites than on, say, DailyKos.

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
-From the Chicago Tribune Link graciously provided above

Obama may have been reading the wrong teleprompter for all I know. Or maybe he intends to set up a Civilian National Security Force. Or maybe the Chicago Tribune was making things up.

But if he does intend to set up a Civilian National Security Force with the same funding as the military, I don’t know how he intends to staff it. Perhaps with ‘Universal Voluntary’ recruits from among us.

I’d just like clarification if he meant what he reportedly said.

BOB, it has been clarified to you. Since you refuse to accept the clarification, there is nothing more that can be done.

This page appears to have the full text of the speech in question:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jul/02/text-obamas-speech/

No such quote appears in the full text...

I’d just like clarification if he meant what he reportedly said.

Black Muslim Mujahadin. Potato guns. Terrorist fist jabs, too.

Think I'm kidding? Go look it up. Tell me where I'm wrong.

Thanks -

I concur with Danny that the Rocky Mountain News' version does not contain the quote in question. Obama should push the Chicago Tribune and Congressional Quarterly for a retraction, if the Rocky Mountain News’ version is the correct one. That story could come back to bite him.

It’s potato blossom time Russell. Very pretty flowers. They’ve got me in a good mood.

Since thisx is the first time I have even heard of that quote, comng from one of the most disreputable sources out there, just how is this supposed to come back to hurt him.
BOB, your ability to engage in wishful thinking always amazes me. I envy you, sometimes.

Obama should push the Chicago Tribune and Congressional Quarterly for a retraction, i

Or, like anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty, stop relying on people quoting other people.

Wonder what you'll do...

gwangung;

I am quoting the Chicago Tribune link provided above. I am being intellectually honest. Obama should get it fixed, if the Tribune story is flawed.

I am quoting the Chicago Tribune link provided above. I am being intellectually honest.

No. That's being lazy, You are accepting that the quoted fraction means the same out of context as in. Even with the best intentions, a quoter can change the meaning of a statement. I would not be honest if I accepted it at face value and left it at that.

He is the same guy Hilzoy, Farber, Wu, and others almost voted for four years ago.

I would've voted for John Kerry and Jesse Helms over George Bush and Dick Cheney. The bar of wouldve-made-me-vote-for-Bush-as-Kerrys-VP is so amazingly low, it boggles the mind. I would only vote against Kerry-Mugabe because it would show such poor judgement (and because of the small chance that Kerry would die in office).
So my hypothetical vote in 2004 for Kerry & X isnt much of an endorsement of "X for President". It is my endorsement that "X isn't a homocidial maniac dictator". And I look for so much more than that in a President.

ken, if you liked HRC, could you explain what policies that she supported you think will be implemented by a McCain administration? You keep getting the chance to bring up specific policies, but you keep dodging it.

It's almost like you don't like Obama for some other reason, unrelated to policy. I wonder what that could be?

gwangung;

I’ll let you put any words you want around the Tribune’s reporting and it still sounds bad. How about this:

“Our military is great and we should pay them more money but…”

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

“And we’ll have to provide day dare for the children of the civilian national security force.”

Add your own.

But Obama should fix the record if the Tribune’s reporting is flawed. Think of it as advice. I’m being more than intellectually honest. I’m being nice.

BOB: Since your original point has now turned into a set of complaints about the Chicago Tribune, what is their relevance here?

I stand corrected by Danny Hilzoy. I have been reduced to giving Obama friendly advice. Unless the Tribune was right and the Rocky Mountain News was wrong.

Good luck ken and BoB. I don't think that X is "homocidial maniac dictator". I think that Saddam Hussein was a "homocidial maniac dictator". Or Kim Jung Il, or Castro, or Mugabe, or Khomeini, but certainly not X.

DaveC, you're making even less sense than usual. I hope writing your last comment made you feel very clever, because I can't even guess what you're trying to say.

Then again, since the only reason you write here is to vent your frustrations from real life, I suppose there's no need to bother with coherent writing.

I would've voted for John Kerry and Jesse Helms over George Bush and Dick Cheney. The bar of wouldve-made-me-vote-for-Bush-as-Kerrys-VP is so amazingly low, it boggles the mind.

This is painfully true. An argument that we'd have voted for McCain as a VP over Bush-Cheney is beyond meaningless, both in regard to the contrast to the alternative, and the awesome powers bestowed upon the average VP. You want an honest statement of how silly this is? I'd have voted for Kerry-Bush over Bush-Cheney. I'd have voted for Kerry-Cheney over Bush-Cheney.

"because I can't even guess what you're trying to say"

DaveC is saying it's mean to call G. W. Bush names, because the designated bad guys are bad guys, and it's just absurd to compare G. W. Bush to true designated bad guys.

After you've been around DaveC for a while, you get what he's driving at when he's only in his normal state of incoherency.

It's not as if DaveC actually knows what he's talking about; reading, say, The Gulag Archipelago, or Robert Conquest, or a bunch of books on any of the names he mentions isn't his style; he just thinks he knows more than folks who have read lots of books on these guys, and who know lots more than he does about the precise nature and detail of these evil regimes than he does, because, well, he doesn't know what he's talking about. He just knows that designated bad guys are bad, because he read some blog posts, and that he has to correct us ignorant liberals on our lack of sense of proportion. You know, the one DaveC so famously has. That he gets from his extensive knowledge of both the history of various dictatorships, and of the United States.

Why, I'm sure DaveC has posted endlessly more than I have, and in far greater detail, on North Korea and Kim Jong Il, for instance.

And Saddam Hussein, he killed a lot of Iraqis, tortured many Iraqis, and had a huge prison at a place called Abu Ghraib; as a result, many Iraqis lived in fear.

Fortunately, under the U.S. watch, such things could never happen. DaveC likes to point out such disparities now and again. It's important to be reminded who the good guys are, you know.

Hilzoy: BOB: Since your original point has now turned into a set of complaints about the Chicago Tribune, what is their relevance here?

To derail the thread in his usual trollish way.

It is amusing that people who consider themselves liberal cannot look at the candidates objectively and weight the merits of each based upon their records (or lack thereof).

...

John McCain, for a liberal democrat like myself, is a pretty decent alternative to Barack Obama.

The two statements gain a certain irony when juxtaposed, neh?

John: John McCain, a son and grandson of admirals who graduated the Naval Academy 894th in a class of 899, know how to lose airplanes. The fifth plane that he lost resulted in his captivity. To be sure, after his capture, he showed admirable courage. That is a far cry, however, from a qualification to serve as commander-in-chief.

I suppose if you regard George W. Bush as an acceptable President because of his military record (looks good in a flight suit) having a President who did actually go to Vietnam and fly planes (albeit not very well), and who didn't desert the military, why then John McCain is a step up, and he could probably get someone for Vice who has a better record than Dick "I had other priorities" Cheney.

If, of course, these guys actually wanted to elect a President based on the candidate's military record, they would have supported John Kerry, but it was more important then to spit on Vietnam veterans and praise deserters. Now they've got a Vietnam veteran as a candidate, I expect the media will just kindly forget about the "Purple Heart bandaids" aspect of the Republican party four years.

I know none of this is news. (Well, especially not "news" in the American media.) It's just amazing how convoluted Republican hypocrisy can get while the US media blandly ignores it.

Turb: …can you explain what specific skills and experience Senators or Senators on the Armed Services committee develop that would be relevant to the Presidency?

I think that all those years at least give you an intimate knowledge of how Congress works. That should be an advantage in getting your agenda moving – knowing where the bodies are buried and what motivates various members, personal relationships, etc. Now agreeing with said agenda is a different story…

But I was responding specifically to the CiC aspect of the job. I think that a couple of decades on the Armed Services Committee is very good experience for that, with or without personal military experience.

Turn it around though. A young charismatic Republican with experience as a community organizer, some time in the state legislature, and three years as a Senator (much of which was spent running for president) is running against Ted Kennedy. Republicans are claiming that Kennedy’s experience in Congress doesn’t really count as any kind of experience to be president…

On the other hand, the first three times he destroyed US military aircraft don't really have such good excuses. To be honest, I have trouble believing that anyone who wasn't an admiral's son could have gotten into flight school with such an atrocious record at the Naval Academy and I'm even more suspicious that any pilot who was responsible for losing three aircraft through accident or negligence would be given a fourth an be allowed to continue flying.

Normally I’d say you are correct. OTOH there was a war on and McCain did volunteer for combat. I haven’t read the survey reports on the first three incidents so I have no opinion on whether they may have been due to pilot error or not. Still, he survived the Forrestal, got the shrapnel removed from his chest and legs, and immediately volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany, resulting in the mission from which he did not return for 6 years.


Ken: Kerry's past endorsement of McCain's qualification carries more weight than your thinking he isn't tempermentally qualified today.

Not for me it doesn’t, given that it’s my opinion and my vote. Actually I can’t think of much that would matter less to me than Kerry’s endorsement.


Turb: Being President isn't like being a chemist where you have to know lots of stuff lest you blow up the lab.

Well, I’d say that the lab has been blown up at this point. ;(

Turb: On the other hand, the first three times he destroyed US military aircraft don't really have such good excuses. To be honest, I have trouble believing that anyone who wasn't an admiral's son could have gotten into flight school with such an atrocious record at the Naval Academy and I'm even more suspicious that any pilot who was responsible for losing three aircraft through accident or negligence would be given a fourth an be allowed to continue flying.

Forgot to note: Assume that you are 100% correct here and I agree with you and that McCain used his connections to get into flight school and to continue flying when other pilots would have been grounded…

Then all we’re really saying is that he used his connections to volunteer for ground attack, one of the more dangerous professions of the war. And then he repeatedly volunteered (used his connections) to continue flying dangerous ground attack missions when other pilots may have been grounded. He repeatedly used his connections to go into that missile envelope mission after mission…

I thought Republicans were supposed to use their connections to avoid that kind of thing… ;)

I thought Republicans were supposed to use their connections to avoid that kind of thing…

so then, McCain is dumber than W.

that's not change we can believe in.

[...] Then all we’re really saying is that he used his connections to volunteer for ground attack, one of the more dangerous professions of the war. And then he repeatedly volunteered (used his connections) to continue flying dangerous ground attack missions when other pilots may have been grounded. He repeatedly used his connections to go into that missile envelope mission after mission…
Just so it doesn't go unsaid, and you don't make the wrong assumption about what I think, OCSteve, I want to agree with you that this was admirable, whatever the reason, and that I give John McCain full credit for it.

That's the extent of his military experience.

Gary: Really? No credit for anything he did after the war? I don't necessarily think any of that gives him extra-special qualification for the Oval Office, but generally, squadron command doesn't get omitted from one's resume.

fifth plane that he lost resulted in his captivity.

John in Nashville, I'd just as soon McCain were criticized for his real and actual shortcomings without fabricating or embellishing. There are plenty of the real and actual kind, so this sort of thing just puzzles. I'm with OCSteve: there are two or three aircraft that might be pinned on McCain; the Forrestal incident definitely does not count, and his being shot down may not count either.

Unless you're bent on distorting, that is. Not saying that's the case with you.

I'd guess the Navy does post-incident reviews, particularly when loss of an aircraft is involved, and I'm wondering if the findings of such reviews would typically be included in released military records.

OCSteve: I thought Republicans were supposed to use their connections to avoid that kind of thing… ;)

I thought you were barely convincible (only by Powers of Hilzoy) that the deserter was a worse choice than the decorated veteran in 2004.

John Kerry has a better military record than John McCain. Anyone has a better military record than George W. Bush: joining up, making use of his dad's connections to get a cushy berth, deserting, and then lying about it to make himself sound better, really is a trashy record hard to beat. But then McCain has an adopted black daughter, so obviously Bush was a better choice for President in 2000. What's changed in the past 8 years? Has McCain still got the same daughter?

"Gary: Really? No credit for anything he did after the war? I don't necessarily think any of that gives him extra-special qualification for the Oval Office, but generally, squadron command doesn't get omitted from one's resume."

I haven't read his book; I would be happy to read more about anything he did after the war beyond his experience as a junior liason to Congress, which I've read mildly extensively about. Pointers?

I'm not aware that mid and low level command experience is generally regarded as a qualification for, say, head of a Combat Command, or head of NATO, or President, however. If so, apparently Andy Olmsted was qualified to be President, and I think he'd have been surprised to hear that, though perhaps pleased.

Good news, if true, since we have thousands of qualified presidents waiting at hand, though.

The fact is, I completely agree that there's just no job that prepares one to be President of the U.S., and while a variety of experience can be helpful, it's apt to be a unique mix that best helps, and not easily identifiable save in hindsight, or as a guess in advance.

But if any mix of experience matters, I'd go for some combination of Bill Richardson's and Wes Clark's, or, if you prefer Republicans, some combination of Colin Powell's and Richard Lugar's, although preferably I'd really like to see someone who also has credible business experience, has shown excellent writing/thinking ability (say, like Barack Obama!), and for good measure, scientific accomplishment. As well as an appreciation of what it's like to be poor, and non-majoritarian.

Throw in something like Herbert Hoover's experience, as well.

And they should ride in on a pony.

"Anyone has a better military record than George W. Bush: joining up, making use of his dad's connections to get a cushy berth, deserting, and then lying about it to make himself sound better, really is a trashy record hard to beat."

I'm pretty sure Dick Cheney's military record isn't better.

But perhaps you meant people actually in the military. In which case most people with a dishonorable discharge would do, let alone those found guilty of felonies while serving.

Or, say, CPL Charles Graner. William Calley.

I'd like to pick some generals, but, strangely, generals in modern times tend to never be found guilty of any serious wrongdoing. We must have only wonderful generals. (Except for the odd woman reservist.)

Bush's record isn't impressive, but there really are plenty worse, and there's no need to exaggerate the fact that his reserve duty, and being apparently missing for part of it, isn't particularly impressive.

fifth plane that he lost resulted in his captivity.

I'm with Slarti. He didn't lose the plane, it was shot down. Getting shot at was part of the job. It's not for everyone.

IMO there is a very good case to be made for preferring Obama to McCain on foreign policy without minimizing McCain's military service. The man did his time, it should be respected. IMVHO.

It’s potato blossom time Russell. Very pretty flowers.

I read in a book that potatoes are biennial. That means one year they store food in the form of the tubers we eat, the next year they flower.

So you can't be seeing potato flowers. You must be seeing something else.

Thanks -

To be honest, I have trouble believing that anyone who wasn't an admiral's son could have gotten into flight school with such an atrocious record at the Naval Academy and I'm even more suspicious that any pilot who was responsible for losing three aircraft through accident or negligence would be given a fourth an be allowed to continue flying.

I'm sorry, but for me John McCain will always be Admiral "Tug" Benson, naval aviator, wounded veteran of many wars, and later president, in the "Hot Shots!" films.

"“I’ve flown four hundred and eighty combat missions. Crashed every time. Come to think of it, I’ve never landed a plane in my life.”

“My ear canals are stainless steel. Took a bazooka round at Iwo Jima. Well, it was either Iwo Jima or Little Big Horn. The one with the Indians, anyway.”

Slarti: I'd guess the Navy does post-incident reviews, particularly when loss of an aircraft is involved, and I'm wondering if the findings of such reviews would typically be included in released military records.

It’s called “Report of Survey” in the Army; I’m not sure what the Navy calls it. But yes any mishap involving the loss of a multi-million dollar aircraft is going to spur a serious investigation. I have no idea if the results would be publicly available. If any blame was due McCain for the incidents that would appear in his military records.


Jes: John Kerry has a better military record than John McCain. Anyone has a better military record than George W. Bush: joining up, making use of his dad's connections to get a cushy berth, deserting, and then lying about it to make himself sound better, really is a trashy record hard to beat. But then McCain has an adopted black daughter, so obviously Bush was a better choice for President in 2000. What's changed in the past 8 years? Has McCain still got the same daughter?

If there is a question or something for me to respond to in there I’m having trouble teasing it out. I’m going to pass on your assertions, and I’m not here to convince anyone to vote for McCain.

OCSteve: "Then all we’re really saying is that he used his connections to volunteer for ground attack, one of the more dangerous professions of the war. And then he repeatedly volunteered (used his connections) to continue flying dangerous ground attack missions when other pilots may have been grounded. He repeatedly used his connections to go into that missile envelope mission after mission..."

I'm with Gary in finding this admirable.

Moreover, I don't see why anyone needs to go after McCain's military record. I mean, it would be one thing if he had some pattern of misconduct of a sort that bore directly on his fitness to be President (even after all this time), but absent any reason to think that's so, I'm fine with just stipulating that it was fine, and that the part when he was a POW was heroic.

If this election in any way turns on McCain's flight record in Vietnam (absent some startling new revelation that somehow -- I can't really see how -- makes this actually relevant) -- then we should be ashamed.

OCS Steve: It’s called “Report of Survey” in the Army; I’m not sure what the Navy calls it.

Minor nit. It was called a "Report of Survey". The current term is "Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss" and is usually represented by its acronym FLIPL.

I got much more familiar with FLIPLs and the process then I ever wanted to toward the end of my last deployment. My unit was stuck with finally re-establishing property accountability for $40+ million in property which needed to be assigned to the using units and had not been properly inventoried in 3+ years. There were quite a few FLIPLs involved as well.

Ken: I am baffled how you (as an HRC supporter) could prefer McCain to Obama. I mean is that just sour grapes or can you actually justify that based on the candidate’s positions?

OTOH don’t give up yet….

Rumor is that some Capital Hill Dems are having a bit of buyer’s remorse.

And some groups are still fighting for that floor vote at the convention.

So you know – don’t give up yet!

Being a self-starter, Slarti, I found this.

I'll it it for people to make of it what they will; they will, anyway, of course.

I'm still interested in any pointers about McCain's squandron command days that you think relevant.

Donald Clarke: I’m long out of it so I’m not surprised. The new name makes a heck of a lot more sense than “Report of Survey”.

OCSteve: I am baffled how you (as an HRC supporter) could prefer McCain to Obama. I mean is that just sour grapes or can you actually justify that based on the candidate’s positions?

At least one feminist blog tracked down the background of a bunch of sockpuppets claiming to be Clinton supporters who were going to vote McCain in protest, and discovered that they were all in fact posting from an IP address that belonged to a conservative website. Of course this doesn't prove that everyone who said they'd support Clinton but are now going to vote McCain is a lying SOB, just that there is at least one occasion when it turned out that the inexplicable was perfectly 'splicable.

For what it's worth, I was more making fun of the Republican Party's shifty and shifting notions of what makes a good Presidential candidate, than I was McCain's military record. At least, that was my intention.

I'm still interested in any pointers about McCain's squandron command days that you think relevant.

Why on earth would you think that I thought it was relevant to anything at all, other than your comment that That's the extent of his military experience? Did you miss where I said I don't necessarily think any of that gives him extra-special qualification for the Oval Office? Arguably command gives him some leadership experience; whether said leadership experience always translates into a clear positive in a candidate for the Presidency is unclear, to me.

Possibly you didn't mean that the short list of his skills you gave was the sum total of his military experience; if that's the case, maybe we're talking past each other.

I think there are certain basic skills that a candidate CinC ought to possess, but I'd be fairly uncomfortable with someone who spent a lifetime preparing for the Presidency. It's a maximum of eight years, after all, and I think that some experience in life outside of politics could possibly be useful. Maybe. Just my opinion.

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