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View Full Version : Commander Barack Obama (R. - Ft. Stewart)


nikkibong
06-02-2009, 02:20 PM
Today's news (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124395097093876831.html) - that Obama is picking a Republican to be his army secretary - seems another example of a worrying trend. Which is to say, Obama seems to be doing a lot to further the bogus notion that Republicans have all the wisdom regarding things military. Before today's pick, Obama had appointed grotesque Kissinger-heir Jim Jones (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=EsY&q=jim+jones+national+security+advisor&aq=0&oq=jim+jones+national+&aqi=g2) as his Nat'l Security Advisor and, of course, republican Bob Gates as his secretary of "Defense."

These may all be qualified people, but it's rather depressing that Obama feels he has to defer to the Republicans on all things military.

Why not turn to Republicans on matters they have expertise on? Like, er . . . .Moral Values (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/01/foley200701) . . .

bjkeefe
06-02-2009, 03:22 PM
Today's news (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124395097093876831.html) - that Obama is picking a Republican to be his army secretary - seems another example of a worrying trend. Which is to say, Obama seems to be doing a lot to further the bogus notion that Republicans have all the wisdom regarding things military.

A worthwhile political consideration, but let me ask you this: suppose by the end of his time in office, Obama has managed to solve our current military problems as well as could be asked (or they fix themselves, but he gets credit, like Reagan "winning" the Cold War). Will it not be worth far more from the perspective of the Dems thinking about the casual voter to be able to say "victory was ours in Afghanistan and Iraq under a Democratic president" or whatever?

I mean, sure, the True Believers will howl that HE HAD A REPUBLICAN SECDEF AND ARMY SECRETARY, but casual voters don't think that deeply. They think the President, and often by extension, the party, are solely to blame or credit.

If you're more worried about long term prospects, you might also think of this as Obama cleverly laying the groundwork for all sides to share in the blame when and if the voting populace gets sick of our overseas quagmires.

Or, you could take him at face value, at what he ran on, and say this is an easy place for him to ride the magical unity pony -- tossing the GOP a bone, and/or hiring the person he actually thinks is best qualified.

I have to say, I think the belief that Reps are better on national defense is simultaneously too deeply ingrained in some ways for an appointment like this to make a difference, and also shows every sign of being on the wane. IIRC, the GOP no longer wins (or no longer wins handily) in polls that ask questions like "Which party do you think will do a better job on defense?" My political gut tells me the younger voters are almost certain to think of war as expensive unwinnable things that should be blamed on Republicans.

Long way of saying: I take your point, but I don't think it's that big a deal.

bjkeefe
06-02-2009, 04:32 PM
Also, Wonkette's take: "Obama Forces Uppity Republican To Run The Army (http://wonkette.com/408888/obama-forces-uppity-republican-to-run-the-army)."

Lyle
06-02-2009, 08:15 PM
President Obama is just politically smart. He's employing experienced people to important positions and he's taking one more argument away from his critics in the Republican party.

He also might have not had a lot of Democrats to choose from.

nikkibong
06-03-2009, 01:29 PM
A worthwhile political consideration . . .

Brendan: I probably didn't articulate it clearly enough in my first post, but I actually think this is more than a mere political consideration. Obama's reverence to Republican military types has "real-world" policy effects: namely, right-wingers may now be running the show, as far as the military is concerned! I'm perturbed that Obama is receiving military advice from people who think solely in terms of "strategery," or, er, "strategy." Which is to say: a focus on "enemy kills" and "collateral damage" etc., at the expense of the human tragedy that war brings. Consider the increased use of aerial drones: disturbing.

I understand that part of this mentality is endemic to the military as a whole, but I worry that Obama is allowing right-wingers into his administration where they can do the most damage: with military might.

bjkeefe
06-03-2009, 01:52 PM
Brendan: I probably didn't articulate it clearly enough in my first post, but I actually think this is more than a mere political consideration. Obama's reverence to Republican military types has "real-world" policy effects: namely, right-wingers may now be running the show, as far as the military is concerned! I'm perturbed that Obama is receiving military advice from people who think solely in terms of "strategery," or, er, "strategy." Which is to say: a focus on "enemy kills" and "collateral damage" etc., at the expense of the human tragedy that war brings. Consider the increased use of aerial drones: disturbing.

I understand that part of this mentality is endemic to the military as a whole, but I worry that Obama is allowing right-wingers into his administration where they can do the most damage: with military might.

Again, I see your point, but I don't fully buy it. I think "reverence" goes way too far, for one thing. For another, being focused on strategy and killing is, like it or not, square within the bailiwick of military people. I'm not sure how much extra damage a Republican Army Secretary is going to do, over and above the sad fact that the US already tries to address too many problems with military force.

For what it's worth, I, too, am troubled by what seems like an over-reliance on drone aircraft, with the caveat that I don't consider myself well enough informed to make a legitimate call on this.

P.S. Congratulations on being published.

claymisher
06-03-2009, 02:04 PM
I forgot where I read it, but I saw something about "Why do we even have service secretaries anymore?" recently. This seems like a low-cost way of taking out a Republican. And if the deal required him to be a good guy on DADT, even better for a Republican to take some of the heat.

BTW, I bet we'll see some action on DADT as pride parade season heats up.

Lyle
06-03-2009, 04:44 PM
Brendan: I probably didn't articulate it clearly enough in my first post, but I actually think this is more than a mere political consideration. Obama's reverence to Republican military types has "real-world" policy effects: namely, right-wingers may now be running the show, as far as the military is concerned! I'm perturbed that Obama is receiving military advice from people who think solely in terms of "strategery," or, er, "strategy." Which is to say: a focus on "enemy kills" and "collateral damage" etc., at the expense of the human tragedy that war brings. Consider the increased use of aerial drones: disturbing.

I understand that part of this mentality is endemic to the military as a whole, but I worry that Obama is allowing right-wingers into his administration where they can do the most damage: with military might.

What evidence is there that "right-wing" military officials don't understand the human tragedy that war brings? Who changed the initial Bush strategy in Iraq? Who is changing the strategy in Afghanistan?

Why do you not want aerial drones used? Do you not want your fellow citizens to be better protected from killing and mutilation?

Do you want Obama to be successful in Afghanistan and Iraq? Do you want the United States to prevail over Osama bin Laden?

Should we go back to phalanx on phalanx combat?

uncle ebeneezer
06-03-2009, 10:16 PM
Here's an interesting article about the political wisdom of the choice:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23253.html

Congrats on getting published!! Huzzah for Nikkibong.

bjkeefe
06-04-2009, 12:10 AM
Here's an interesting article about the political wisdom of the choice:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23253.html

Congrats on getting published!! Huzzah for Nikkibong.

That was a pretty good piece of analysis. Thanks.