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View Full Version : Althouse might win her bet


kezboard
06-27-2009, 01:10 PM
I don't remember in which diavlog it was that Ann Althouse and Emily Bazelon made a bet about the likelihood of Obama closing Guantanamo before the end of the year, but it looks like Emily might have to pay up (http://tinyurl.com/lmzdsg).

Althouse is already crowing about it (http://althouse.blogspot.com/2009/06/agreeing-with-conclusions-reached-years.html) on her blog. This obviously is a great coup for her even regardless of the bet because of the following:

1. she doesn't want Guantanamo to close in the first place,
2. it suggests that Bush was right about indefinite detention, since now it's being given the Obama stamp of approval, and that all these abuses are really the only way to go,
3. it demonstrates that the Democrats are craven and want to whip Bush for political points while they do exactly the same things he did.

I have this great way of fooling myself when it comes to this sort of thing, where I get this sort of feeling that whichever side I bet on is the one that's going to win, so if I say "I bet Obama's not going to close Guantanamo", that means he's not going to close Guantanamo. It's not naivete or stupidity, I promise, it's just a character flaw.

I realized how difficult closing it was going to be legally, financially, logistically, etc., but I really did not expect the sort of political opposition that Obama got from the Democrats. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me -- this poll (http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/17/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5094530.shtml) suggests that most Democrats believe Gitmo should be closed. Wouldn't it make more political sense for them just to push forward with shutting it down, keeping in mind that Obama managed to win the election with this position, and let the Republicans yell about it as much as they want? Have they just suddenly remembered that they're Democrats and they have to get around to shooting themselves in the foot at some point?

Anyway, I'm pissed. By the way, I don't know if this goes in this section or in the "gossip about the heads" one, but I trust that if people have really strong opinions about the thread being in the wrong place they won't be annoying about it.

graz
06-27-2009, 01:37 PM
Your choice for posting location is a good one from my perspective. Althouse's reaction is reflective of the political minefield inherent in the evolving and undecided Gitmo dilemma. The Wapo link seems only slightly more definitive than any less recent speculation as to the final result. Even closing Gitmo doesn't resolve the issue of what to do with the "enemy combatants" (in jurisdictional limbo).
So Althouse can crow indefinitely... Damn.

kezboard
06-27-2009, 01:47 PM
So Althouse can crow indefinitely... Damn.

Well, she can crow until the end of the year or until Obama closes Gitmo, whichever comes first.

pampl
06-27-2009, 02:41 PM
I realized how difficult closing it was going to be legally, financially, logistically, etc., but I really did not expect the sort of political opposition that Obama got from the Democrats. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me -- this poll (http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/17/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5094530.shtml) suggests that most Democrats believe Gitmo should be closed. Wouldn't it make more political sense for them just to push forward with shutting it down, keeping in mind that Obama managed to win the election with this position, and let the Republicans yell about it as much as they want? Have they just suddenly remembered that they're Democrats and they have to get around to shooting themselves in the foot at some point?
Most Democrats believe that, sure. But Dem pols can (and do!) take Dem voters for granted. Independents split towards leaving it open (48% to 32% (http://www.gallup.com/poll/113893/americans-send-no-clear-mandate-guantanamo-bay.aspx)) and it's their votes which are lusted after.