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May 22, 2009


"Obama’s going to disappoint me as President at times. But he sure didn’t today."

sure he's going to disappoint; he already has on a few things.

but he still has not done anything to make me think we'd be better off with the alternatives.

not with edwards. not with hillary.

sure as hell not with mccain palin.

and not with that fear-mongering coward cheney.

i honestly do not see anyone, anywhere, on the national scene that i can imagine doing as good as job as he is doing so far. even with the let-downs.

obama is a politician; that means he's going to do stuff that should be criticized. i'm a democrat; that means i'm going to be critical. in this party, we don't believe in lock-step and hero-worship.

but so far, in month five, i think the country is damned lucky to have him as our head employee.

“It was all right there – in that single image – for all the future to see.”

Yup. And Cheney’s positives are going up in polls.

To paraphrase RW reaction: That’s a speech that should have been given when they where in charge…

OCSteve: That’s a speech that should have been given when they were in charge…

Goodness, Steve, anyone would think you'd drunk the Republican Kool-AID.

Why would Cheney have made a speech like that when he was in a position to do anything he wanted? He was too busy doing it. That speech of Cheney's is a plain straightforward defense of criminal conduct in office: "Sure I did it, you would have done it too if you'd been that scared!" And every positive reaction to the speech is from a cowardly fascist who knows Cheney is speaking for cowardly fascists everywhere, who love them some jackbooted thugs to keep them safe.

Next, no doubt, we'll hear that Cheney ate too many Twinkies.

The glow of Obama's speech in contrast with Cheney's has apparently washed out the visibility of that ugly little preventive detention passage.

That's one of the functions of contrast. You'd almost think the two were working as a team.

What Nell said. If the White House isn't paying Cheney to give those speeches they should be.

When I first read this post, I wasn't totally paying attention. I missed "National Review" and I don't know Geraghty (yes, I'm an ignoramus). At any rate, when I read the quote below, I thought it was a critical description of Cheney's argument, because it makes it sound as ridiculous as it is.

"But in a nutshell, the Cheney argument is, "it worked." . . . The standard has been set; Obama is now tinkering with the methods. They're betting a lot — not just their chance at a second term, but the lives of you and me — that they can get the same results with different methods. We will see....

"If there is another successful and terrible terror attack, either on U.S. soil or on a U.S. target abroad, the immediate moment will be too terrible to hear the words "I told you so." But if, God forbid, that day comes, we will know that indeed Dick Cheney did tell us so."

Then I got to Publius' use of "Cheney/Geraghty logic" and re-read. Wow. Geraghty guy agrees, and his paraphrase still reads like a parody.

I'll be over here with my head in the oven. Thanks.

OTOH.... Krauthammer points out that the Obama admin has said fine words, while adopting large swathes of the Bush Admin's approach to the WT. He has pretty much just slapped a new coat of paint onto a lot of the Bush policies, then adopted them as his own. The big changes have been no EITS and closing Gauntanamo- and even the last may not happen. Those two are likely just one terrorist strike away from being reversed, IMO.

"And Cheney’s positives are going up in polls."

I haven't seen evidence of this, but I do not doubt it.

What Cheney is saying is spin, a crock of sh!t, coming from an Evil Doer himself. But if he keeps saying it, as he seems to know, more and more folks might believe it. Meanwhile, you have his daughter popping up everywhere, defending Dad, defending the notion of doing what it takes to keep America safe, and putting a much prettier face on the subject. All of it is just a modern-day p.r. blitz.

He was looking ahead. He was setting up the political chessboard to attack Obama and the Democrats in a particularly poisonous way if – God forbid – we are attacked again.

Yes, and that is why prosecuting Cheney and the other torture conspirators is necessary and would be forward-looking. We must deter future torturers. If we are attacked again, enough people may be scared enough and stupid enough to vote for a torture-advocate as our next President. If, however, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Addington, Yoo, and Powell are in prison, then the next President will be less likely to torture.

that last post is a piece of spam which links to pørn.

it should be deleted, and a note be made of "john jones" ip address.

I really don't support either stance. Cheney and his torture tactics but Obama today presented the idea of preventive detention, which is still imprisonment for the possibility of committing a crime. Minority Report anyone? He suggested to create a special regime (built from scratch) to handle this, so it would be out of current military jurisdiction. I just wanted Gitmo closed, but who knows which way the wind is blowing now.

I absolutely agree about the overarching positions that were articulated...but am rather worried about the "preventive detention" business.

Now, given what we seem to know about Obama...first, that he's smarter and better-informed than most of us, second that his position is largely the position he articulated in the rest of the speech...I think we can cut him some temporary slack on the "preventive detention" business...but that's something we're going to have to have a serious national dialogue about...

And for chrissake get rid of that idiotic "John Jones" link above.

I see from the NYT that Mr. Cheney is looking for a book deal. I remember a time when critics of the government could easily be dismissed if they were just trying to sell books. I'm not going to hunt for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Cheney didn't say so himself, way back when.

CharleyCarp, I imagine you're thinking of the Bush administration reaction to Richard Clarke.

I don't know whether Dick Cheney ever made the point about selling books, but Scott McClellan did:

"It's important to keep in context we're in the heat of a presidential campaign and all of a sudden he comes out with a book that he is seeking to promote ... and he is making charges that simply did not happen," McClellan said.

White House assails former terror adviser, Seattle Times (via AP and the Washington Post), March 23, 2004

A Google search of "white house assails" + "clarke" does the trick.

And then Scott McLellan was given just the same treatment when he went public with his own disagreements -- although in his case it seems a good deal clearer that the criticisms of Bush were connected with selling his book, as they were first put out to the media by his publisher.

As my comment of 7:12 am yesterday shows, I don't agree at all that "today’s split screen of Obama and Cheney reflected the very essence of the torture debate."

Obama's speech takes advantage of the contrast to move well to the right of where the actual essence of the torture debate is. It accomplishes this with straw-man positioning and deeply dishonest equivalence between rule-of-law advocates and Cheneyite executive-as-dictator types, aimed at the sadly substantial chunk of the public who buy into brain-dead formulations of the "both sides are criticizing me so I must be right" variety. This point is made and elaborated in Thomas Nephew's excellent post on the speech.

"I liked most of Obama's speech. If it weren't for that one little bit about preventive detention, I'd be as happy as a clam."

Then I guess his mistake was being honest about that one, single thing.

After all, his declarations of reversing all those Bush-era policies while adopting them for himself with little or no change seems to have gone over just fine with the likes of you.

It appears the snag is when he doesn't give you what you need to get by. An eloquently delivered, unsupported promise of change, while he clearly enacts the complete opposite. That token bit of BS you want so you can pretend that the Republicans voted out of office are still the problem, while ignoring the fact they passed the torch.

Someone who used to be so convincing in portraying herself as having some fundamental opposition to these policies. As your posting history here since the inauguration attests, it would would appear that you really don't have a problem with the President doing this stuff as long as you still get to talk about Cheney.

Who, unlike the President of the United States, commands so much of your time.

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