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Wonderment
06-03-2011, 03:01 AM
More hope for a coalition of the peaceful. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/us/politics/03policy.html?_r=1&hp) House votes tomorrow on Kucinich and Boehner proposals.

“As a 22-year combat veteran, I would be happy to stand beside Dennis Kucinich on this,” said Representative Allen B. West of Florida, a Republican freshman.

In that, Mr. West joins an unlikely alliance with Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York. “The president had no authority to go into Libya,” Mr. Nadler said. “There was no threat to the United States, and I think the action was illegal and wrong as a matter of constitutional law.”

TwinSwords
06-03-2011, 06:25 AM
Ah yes, Allen West!

Who said we can't leave Afghanistan (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/rep-allen-west-suggests-us-cant-leave-afghan) as long as US troops continue to be killed. And who said that anti-war Congressmen need to get shot at a few times (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/05/26/170093/allen-west-congressmen-shot/) so they'd understand the need to continue fighting in Afghanistan.

Allen West, who tortured a US ally (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_West_(politician)#Iraq_interrogation_inciden t), a member of the Iraqi civilian police force, which cost him his military career.

Allen West, who hired a woman who openly talks about overthrowing the US government (http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2010/11/chief-of-staff-for-republican-freshman.html) and murdering the tea party's political opponents.

The same woman who advocates hanging (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/joyce-kaufman-allen-west-chief-of-staff_n_781178.html) for "illegal immigrants" who commit crimes. She said, "If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it."

Allen West, who said (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/08/21/894183/-FL-22:-Tolerance-causes-terrorism) Islam is a "very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say co-exist." He later said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/11/09/129125/allen-west-hire/) “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD.”

And about Keith Ellison (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/25/161001/allen-west-liberal-women/), one of only two Muslims in Congress, West said he was "someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."

Allen West, who said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/22/160523/allen-west-obama-socialist-ryan-accountant/) President Obama is “low-level socialist agitator” with a “third world dictator-like arrogance.”

And about liberal women, West said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/25/161001/allen-west-liberal-women/) "all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow."

Given his extremism and violent rhetoric, I'm not sure I would call Allen West a member of a "coalition of the peaceful."

popcorn_karate
06-03-2011, 12:18 PM
Ah yes, Allen West!

Who said we can't leave Afghanistan (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/rep-allen-west-suggests-us-cant-leave-afghan) as long as US troops continue to be killed. And who said that anti-war Congressmen need to get shot at a few times (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/05/26/170093/allen-west-congressmen-shot/) so they'd understand the need to continue fighting in Afghanistan.

Allen West, who tortured a US ally (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_West_(politician)#Iraq_interrogation_inciden t), a member of the Iraqi civilian police force, which cost him his military career.

Allen West, who hired a woman who openly talks about overthrowing the US government (http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2010/11/chief-of-staff-for-republican-freshman.html) and murdering the tea party's political opponents.

The same woman who advocates hanging (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/joyce-kaufman-allen-west-chief-of-staff_n_781178.html) for "illegal immigrants" who commit crimes. She said, "If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it."

Allen West, who said (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/08/21/894183/-FL-22:-Tolerance-causes-terrorism) Islam is a "very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say co-exist." He later said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/11/09/129125/allen-west-hire/) “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD.”

And about Keith Ellison (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/25/161001/allen-west-liberal-women/), one of only two Muslims in Congress, West said he was "someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."

Allen West, who said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/22/160523/allen-west-obama-socialist-ryan-accountant/) President Obama is “low-level socialist agitator” with a “third world dictator-like arrogance.”

And about liberal women, West said (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/25/161001/allen-west-liberal-women/) "all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow."

Given his extremism and violent rhetoric, I'm not sure I would call Allen West a member of a "coalition of the peaceful."

YEAH!!! We're the peacful coalition not the god damned coalition of the peaceful - fucking splitters!

Wonderment
06-03-2011, 04:16 PM
So the tepid Boehner measure passed 268-145. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/03/house-chides-obama-over-libya/)

The direct Kucinich measure (http://news.antiwar.com/2011/06/03/house-votes-on-libya-boehners-resolution-passes-kucinichs-fails/) failed but got 148 votes to end the Libya War immediately.

I'm sad to report that more Republicans voted with Dennis Kucinich than Democrats. Especially pitiful was Nancy Pelosi's support for the war.

Still, the votes suggest increasing bipartisan dissatisfaction with foreign military adventures. Hopefully, this will lead to a real debate on militarism and the economy in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Republicans can position themselves as the party that woke up on the deficit and its relation to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Israel.

operative
06-03-2011, 04:52 PM
So the tepid Boehner measure passed 268-145. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/03/house-chides-obama-over-libya/)

The direct Kucinich measure (http://news.antiwar.com/2011/06/03/house-votes-on-libya-boehners-resolution-passes-kucinichs-fails/) failed but got 148 votes to end the Libya War immediately.

I'm sad to report that more Republicans voted with Dennis Kucinich than Democrats. Especially pitiful was Nancy Pelosi's support for the war.

Still, the votes suggest increasing bipartisan dissatisfaction with foreign military adventures. Hopefully, this will lead to a real debate on militarism and the economy in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Republicans can position themselves as the party that woke up on the deficit and its relation to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Israel.

Would that mean that you'd vote republican?

Here's the roll call on it:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll412.xml

Ocean
06-03-2011, 05:07 PM
So the tepid Boehner measure passed 268-145. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/03/house-chides-obama-over-libya/)

The direct Kucinich measure (http://news.antiwar.com/2011/06/03/house-votes-on-libya-boehners-resolution-passes-kucinichs-fails/) failed but got 148 votes to end the Libya War immediately.

I'm sad to report that more Republicans voted with Dennis Kucinich than Democrats. Especially pitiful was Nancy Pelosi's support for the war.

Still, the votes suggest increasing bipartisan dissatisfaction with foreign military adventures. Hopefully, this will lead to a real debate on militarism and the economy in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Republicans can position themselves as the party that woke up on the deficit and its relation to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Israel.

Although I can see your desire to see pacifism advanced in the political ranks in this country, I find it somewhat disturbing that you're failing to see that this is a political maneuver against Obama rather than a true desire to cease or decrease US involvement in foreign affairs or military supremacy.

Your hope for a change in policy is commendable, but your inclination to hold on to fake deceiving attempts from the most pro intervention pro militaristic party is rather, sorry to say, disappointing. Needless to say, I disagree with you. The only reason this "resolution" was passed was to continue to create doubt and animosity against Obama in preparation for next year's elections.

Show me an honest history of pro-peace disarmament initiatives or votes from all the Republicans that voted for this resolution and I'll start listening to you on this one. But, this bit is a disgrace.

Wonderment
06-03-2011, 05:26 PM
Would that mean that you'd vote republican?

Let's put it this way: there are Republican doves I would vote for over Democratic hawks. Also, I welcome Republican questioning of war and defense spending and hope it will pressure Dems. to be more peaceful (i.e., get out of Afghanistan).

I am basically a Kucinich-type Democrat, however. Like Dennis, I have a lot of common ground with Libertarians.

I've never voted for a Republican at any level in my life.

I would support Obama against all Republicans currently out there, with the possible exception of Ron/Rand Paul and Gary Johnson, but we know they have zero chance of getting the nomination.

Wonderment
06-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Show me an honest history of pro-peace disarmament initiatives or votes from all the Republicans that voted for this resolution and I'll start listening to you on this one. But, this bit is a disgrace.

I agree that Boehner is basically playing an anti-Obama hand here, but I'm more interested in the long-term trend rather than the game of the week.

The good news is that some Republicans are starting to shift on their love for intervention and war. That's a long process that I want to support.

This trend is, perhaps, running parallel to their questioning of the Bush wars and deficit spending. Whenever Republicans get on their cut-spending hobby horse nowadays, they are forced to acknowledge that war and militarism actually cost real money.

We'll have to see how these trends play out. Parties change over time and new coalitions are possible. Sometimes you have to hold your nose to join a coalition. Not long ago the Democrat Party was in a national coalition with the worst-of-the-worst Segregationists. Times change.

I expected the Obama administration to be more peace-oriented than its predecessor. On "defense" I don't really see how O has turned out to be different from what McCain would have been. McCain is a more erratic personality, so I would not want him taking 3 a.m. calls, but on general warist policy I think they're basically identical.

Ocean
06-03-2011, 05:47 PM
I agree that Boehner is basically playing an anti-Obama hand here, but I'm more interested in the long-term trend rather than the game of the week.

The good news is that some Republicans are starting to shift on their love for intervention and war. That's a long process that I want to support.

This trend is, perhaps, running parallel to their questioning of the Bush wars and deficit spending. Whenever Republicans get on their cut-spending hobby horse nowadays, they are forced to acknowledge that war and militarism actually cost real money.

We'll have to see how these trends play out. Parties change over time and new coalitions are possible. Sometimes you have to hold your nose to join a coalition. Not long ago the Democrat Party was in a national coalition with the worst-of-the-worst Segregationists. Times change.

I expected the Obama administration to be more peace-oriented than its predecessor. On "defense" I don't really see how O has turned out to be different from what McCain would have been. McCain is a more erratic personality, so I would not want him taking 3 a.m. calls, but on general warist policy I think they're basically identical.

Zeus bless your optimism.

How come you're so charitable with Republicans that you're willing to look at a mostly optimistic imaginary long term, while you're so impatient with the Democrats right now because they haven't accomplished all wonderful things in three years?

I simply can't make sense of that.

stephanie
06-03-2011, 05:59 PM
I agree that Boehner is basically playing an anti-Obama hand here, but I'm more interested in the long-term trend rather than the game of the week.

I'd prefer that you were right, but I'm with Ocean. I see no long-term trend. I see Republicans being (rightfully, in some cases) unwilling to support military action when a Dem is in office that most (not all) of them would have whole-heartedly supported if a Republican were president. I see the various things you point to here as similar to the Republican response to Clinton's various military actions (especially in Kosovo), and we all saw what a peacenik Republican Party that resulted in, during the Bush administration.

That said, keep pushing. Just don't ignore the fact that part of the reason the Dems remain as interventionist as they are is that they get criticized by many of the same people you are lauding now (including operative, who is eagerly trying to convince you that his candidates should be yours) for being overly reluctant to use force and too slow to recognize that all kinds of actions are necessary and justified under the Just War theory. The idea that the Just War people are hawks ignores that there are plenty (and they are generally Republicans) who think Just War theory itself is a silly and overly technical hinderance to the US making the world a better place, through military intervention.

Ocean
06-03-2011, 06:54 PM
I would support Obama against all Republicans currently out there, with the possible exception of Ron/Rand Paul and Gary Johnson, but we know they have zero chance of getting the nomination.

And what, besides their alleged anti-interventionism, do you find appealing in the rest of their policy proposals?

Their position against militaristic intervention would not be supported by the rest of the party, so their position is only philosophical with no practical consequences. But a significant amount of the rest of their proposals may be very much in tune with the rest of their party. Those are the policies with practical implications. Are you in agreement with those too?

operative
06-03-2011, 07:03 PM
And what, besides their alleged anti-interventionism, do you find appealing in the rest of their policy proposals?

Their position against militaristic intervention would not be supported by the rest of the party, so their position is only philosophical with no practical consequences. But a significant amount of the rest of their proposals may be very much in tune with the rest of their party. Those are the policies with practical implications. Are you in agreement with those too?

Gary Johnson supports ending our wasteful war on drugs, unlike Obama. He supports taking the government out of marriage, which would let gays marry, while Obama (at least ostensibly) opposes it. He supports an open immigration system, which Obama doesn't. He supports ending farm subsidies, Obama does not. Etc.

miceelf
06-03-2011, 08:19 PM
Gary Johnson supports ending our wasteful war on drugs, unlike Obama. He supports taking the government out of marriage, which would let gays marry, while Obama (at least ostensibly) opposes it. He supports an open immigration system, which Obama doesn't. He supports ending farm subsidies, Obama does not. Etc.

He has zero chance of being nominated by his party, Obama does not.

Wonderment
06-03-2011, 10:39 PM
He has zero chance of being nominated by his party,....

True, but the importance of a low-probability candidacy is that it brings attention to issues and viewpoints that otherwise would be ignored or scoffed at as stupid/irrelevant/preposterous/extremist by mainstream candidates. In the absence of significant third (left wing) and fourth (libertarian) party challenges, one key way to amplify dissident voices in the election cycle is by running and getting into the Dem. and Repub. national debates.

Mainstream politicians hate the presence of "radicals" who will challenge conventional views on militarism, gay rights, immigrant rights, God, healthcare, etc. You may recall when John Edwards and H. Clinton conspired to shun and silence candidates like Dennis Kucinich. Republicans made a similar effort to marginalize Ron Paul.

(It's ironic to recall that Dennis then accused now-indicted John Edwards of displaying a "consistent lack of integrity" (http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/kucinich_accuses_edwards_of_trying_to_rig_election/) in an effort to "rig the election.")

Without going off on too much of a tangent, my point is that we should encourage dissident candidates to get into the mix and speak otherwise unutterable truths to power.

stephanie
06-04-2011, 09:38 AM
Without going off on too much of a tangent, my point is that we should encourage dissident candidates to get into the mix and speak otherwise unutterable truths to power.

Sure, and I'm all for the candidates who want to try and fight the mainstream view on certain issues in their parties.

What I think is wrong, and people shouldn't be buying into this, is using the presence of a Johnson or Paul to claim the Republicans as a whole are good on the drug war or foreign policy. Or, especially, to make us forget that the Republican Party (and it's mainstream candidates and base) has been the main force in the US that pushes us right (in other words, pro rhetoric about sentencing increases and the death penalty and hard on crime, pro rhetoric about courage meaning fighting wars and the Dems being soft on security, pro rhetoric about the scary gays and scary immigrants swarming into the country) and which the Dems know will be used against them as soon as they show the slightest openness to such a slam.

I absolutely hope Johnson and Paul et al. change the Republicans on some issues. But I will believe this more when I see supposedly libertarian Republican types attacking their party as much or more than the Dems or recognizing the pressures that lead to some policies in much the same way that the leftists in the Dems always seem to attack the mainstream Dems first and ignore the Republicans. (I will acknowledge that there was a brief period when this was not the case, when the leftists during the Bush admin somehow convinced themselves that the party was all of one voice, and the criticism of Bush somehow reflected not just opposition to his policies but a more radical left-wing, anti war critique. It's not surprising that this was precisely the reading of it the Republicans were trying to claim.)

More broadly, I just think it's odd, and people who want these reforms that never seem to happen in either party ought to consider, the way in which liberal or libertarian views in the Republicans don't get accepted by the party, the people who support them get channeled into support of the party anyway based on other issues, and the chief recipient of the criticism ends up being the Dems (who are marginally better on the issues and, probably, have a larger base of supporters who would be interested in changing the policy if something bipartisan was really tried, rather than the issues being used as a basis for partisanship).

On the other hand, the leftist and libertarian ideas present in the extreme left also don't get accepted by the party (the Dems), and then the supporters mostly get channeled into support of the party anyway (due to no option), but the chief recipient of the criticism here remains the Dems, and the Republicans are able to use it, because Dems are less likely to see falling in line as a virtue. The Republicans, for the most part, don't use the absence of the leftism against the Dems (except in narrow circles, like maybe Reason magazine), but use the existence of a few more extreme types to paint a picture of the Dems that scares the majority of the country (see the '04 convention).

If you want the Dems to move left and think there's actually a constituency, I think it's worth looking at these dynamics and why the Dems have so far been convinced that they are hurt more by association with the left than by supporting their ideas. It's not moral shaming that will work, but addressing the political questions, and IMO the political picture I see isn't encouraging for the left, for liberals, or for those who genuinely care about libertarian ideas beyond tax cuts and ending New Deal and LBJ era programs.

Wonderment
06-04-2011, 05:33 PM
What I think is wrong, and people shouldn't be buying into this, is using the presence of a Johnson or Paul to claim the Republicans as a whole are good on the drug war or foreign policy. Or, especially, to make us forget that the Republican Party (and it's mainstream candidates and base) has been the main force in the US that pushes us right (in other words, pro rhetoric about sentencing increases and the death penalty and hard on crime, pro rhetoric about courage meaning fighting wars and the Dems being soft on security, pro rhetoric about the scary gays and scary immigrants swarming into the country) and which the Dems know will be used against them as soon as they show the slightest openness to such a slam.

Yes, I agree with that. I'm not saying, "I've been wrong all along, and actually Republicans are pretty cool and getting better." I'm just saying that I welcome progressive, pro-peace ideas wherever they're coming from. So if I see some Republicans suddenly questioning not just the war in Libya and because they think Obama owns it, but also military spending in general under Bush and Obama, then I start supporting a conversation among pro-peace/anti-militarism Dems and pro-peace/anti-militarism Repubs, because on defense issues a bi-partisan subset of Congress members is more likely than not to vote together on war-related issues in the future.

Also, it's part of holding Republicans accountable for their war on poor people and immigrants. Every time they say how imperative it is to kick granny out of adult daycare or deny her a ride to her doctor or deprive her of meals-on-wheels services (all happening in my neighborhood thanks to Repub. Congress), I will remind them of the cost of war in Libya and Afghanistan.

The vote in the House is the reason the leading dove of the Obama administration, outgoing Republican Pentagon Godfather Bob Gates, had this to say today:



"You can't be oblivious to the growing war-weariness at home and the diminishing support in the Congress," Gates told reporters traveling with him. "So I think these are all things that the president will have to weigh."


Weigh away.

TwinSwords
06-19-2011, 03:05 AM
More hope for a coalition of the peaceful. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/us/politics/03policy.html?_r=1&hp) House votes tomorrow on Kucinich and Boehner proposals.
“As a 22-year combat veteran, I would be happy to stand beside Dennis Kucinich on this,” said Representative Allen B. West of Florida, a Republican freshman.

More on Coalition of the Peaceful member Allen West (http://floridaindependent.com/33692/allen-west-pro-gay-tweet):

West fires intern for ‘unauthorized’ pro-gay tweet

Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, fired an intern this past Friday for re-tweeting a message supportive of gays on West’s Twitter account. West earlier this month called gay marriage an “oxymoron.”

Roll Call reports that the message the intern sent out was “a tweet from the Scissor Sisters, the very out-of-the-closet three-person band specializing in dance tracks and camp”:

The group tweeted: “Dear Tracy Morgan’s son: if you are gay, you can TOTALLY come live with me. We’ll read James Baldwin & watch Paris is Burning.”

West’s office quickly sent out a message clarifying the mishap:

Very sorry about the unauthorized RT. We were not hacked, an intern made an error. Apologies to all.

West has been very open about his radical social views. In a conservative event earlier this month called the Eagle Forum Collegians, West linked gay marriage to abortion and the debt crisis as a cycle that will end our “society”:

The term “gay marriage” is an oxymoron. Because marriage is a union and a bond between a man and a woman to do one thing: the furtherance of society by procreation, through creating new life. Have you ever read the book America Alone by Mark Steyn? It’s about demographics. And if we continue with a cycle of debt and punishing our unborn then it just becomes a matter of time before you don’t have society.

West is facing a tough reelection. Pro-abortion rights group Emily’s List has already selected a candidate to challenge West in 2012. He is also getting special help from the National Republican Congressional Committee because the organization believes he is particularly vulnerable coming in to this next election.

popcorn_karate
06-22-2011, 03:47 PM
More on Coalition of the Peaceful member Allen West (http://floridaindependent.com/33692/allen-west-pro-gay-tweet):

is your only point that you would rather have people dying in a useless war than for allen west to be part of the coalition that ends it?

that is really taking pettiness to a whole new level...

stephanie
06-22-2011, 04:27 PM
is your only point that you would rather have people dying in a useless war than for allen west to be part of the coalition that ends it?

that is really taking pettiness to a whole new level...

I suspect his point is that if we trust Allen West et al. that they have changed their mind and adopted pacifist goals, and not merely that they see the issue as a club to hit Obama with, that we might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Kind of like those who were excited about Bush's opposition to nation building back in '00, except that I think Bush was more sincere.

I'm not so worried, since the likelihood that the Republicans will nominate anyone who even the most wishful-thinking anti-war type can get excited about seems to me slim to none. However, anyone who votes for, I dunno, Rick Perry based on an assumption that he will be better than or as good as Obama on issues the pacifist left cares about seems to me to deserve what they get.

But I've been thinking that what might be interesting is a discussion about the Democratic Party, the direction it is going in, and why, and assuming some of us would like to push it farther left on some issues, how that might be done. I'm just not convinced that the best way to do this is to kiss up to Republicans who make easy partisan choices and without demanding more from them before giving them all the help they could want from the left in attacking the Dems. After all, the Dems may slam the left too much, but the Republicans are hardly friends -- they just are better at enlisting the left to attack the Dems while painting the Dems as leftier than the leftiest leftist. See the 2004 Republican Convention for a fun example.

popcorn_karate
06-22-2011, 05:05 PM
I suspect his point is that if we trust Allen West et al. that they have changed their mind and adopted pacifist goals, and not merely that they see the issue as a club to hit Obama with, that we might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Kind of like those who were excited about Bush's opposition to nation building back in '00, except that I think Bush was more sincere.

that is a reasonable point. But i don't think Wonder was advocating going out and voting for people like allen west based on their anti-war position (posturing).

I'm not so worried, since the likelihood that the Republicans will nominate anyone who even the most wishful-thinking anti-war type can get excited about seems to me slim to none. However, anyone who votes for, I dunno, Rick Perry based on an assumption that he will be better than or as good as Obama on issues the pacifist left cares about seems to me to deserve what they get.

yes.

But I've been thinking that what might be interesting is a discussion about the Democratic Party, the direction it is going in, and why, and assuming some of us would like to push it farther left on some issues, how that might be done. I'm just not convinced that the best way to do this is to kiss up to Republicans who make easy partisan choices and without demanding more from them before giving them all the help they could want from the left in attacking the Dems. After all, the Dems may slam the left too much, but the Republicans are hardly friends -- they just are better at enlisting the left to attack the Dems while painting the Dems as leftier than the leftiest leftist. See the 2004 Republican Convention for a fun example.

i don't see the harm in letting any jackass carry my water. If cynical self-dealing republicans support my goals, I'm more than happy to see those on my side embrace them in pursuit of that goal. use 'em for what their worth - look at how the republicans have used willing Dems to undermine the left for the last 30 years.

operative
06-22-2011, 05:11 PM
I suspect his point is that if we trust Allen West et al. that they have changed their mind and adopted pacifist goals, and not merely that they see the issue as a club to hit Obama with, that we might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Kind of like those who were excited about Bush's opposition to nation building back in '00, except that I think Bush was more sincere.

I'm not so worried, since the likelihood that the Republicans will nominate anyone who even the most wishful-thinking anti-war type can get excited about seems to me slim to none. However, anyone who votes for, I dunno, Rick Perry based on an assumption that he will be better than or as good as Obama on issues the pacifist left cares about seems to me to deserve what they get.

But I've been thinking that what might be interesting is a discussion about the Democratic Party, the direction it is going in, and why, and assuming some of us would like to push it farther left on some issues, how that might be done. I'm just not convinced that the best way to do this is to kiss up to Republicans who make easy partisan choices and without demanding more from them before giving them all the help they could want from the left in attacking the Dems. After all, the Dems may slam the left too much, but the Republicans are hardly friends -- they just are better at enlisting the left to attack the Dems while painting the Dems as leftier than the leftiest leftist. See the 2004 Republican Convention for a fun example.

I've followed West fairly extensively and I believe that he believes in everything that he says (even the stuff that is a little out there). I don't agree with West on everything, but he's among the most principled of the members of Congress. You can certainly find examples of opportunistic Republicans giving mouthservice to anti-war arguments. He's not one of them.

Wonderment
06-22-2011, 09:48 PM
But I've been thinking that what might be interesting is a discussion about the Democratic Party, the direction it is going in, and why, and assuming some of us would like to push it farther left on some issues, how that might be done. I'm just not convinced that the best way to do this is to kiss up to Republicans who make easy partisan choices and without demanding more from them before giving them all the help they could want from the left in attacking the Dems. After all, the Dems may slam the left too much, but the Republicans are hardly friends -- they just are better at enlisting the left to attack the Dems while painting the Dems as leftier than the leftiest leftist. See the 2004 Republican Convention for a fun example.

I think it's a good idea to discuss the Dem. Party. As a Green Party member who usually votes lesser-of-the -two-evils Democrat I'd be quite interested.

As you probably know, I see no real downside to solidarity with people who share my views in both parties, or in neither, or in no party at all. It's not the best way to win a given election, but I believe it's the way to build long-term relationships on an issue-by-issue basis and ultimately influence the people who do win the elections.

Taking it issue-by-issue I find a big chunk of Republicans who are to the left of the President and the mainstream of the Dem. Party, and lots of Dems. who are to the right of the President and the mainstream of the party.

Republicans to the left of Obama-Biden-Clinton are no longer freakish outliers; they are increasingly demanding a voice in their party. From my POV that's a good thing. Examples: Suddenly, McCain, along with his buddy on Libya John Kerry, seem like the outliers in backing the new war. A bipartisan movement for nuclear weapon abolition -- to the left of mainstream Dems. --has been afoot for several years and includes former cabinet officials from the Reagan and Bush I administrations. While Obama and company are "evolving" on gay marriage, many Republicans support it. There are Green Republicans who are appalled by the president's environmental record. Obama is pro-death penalty; many Republicans are not. The Afghanistan speech is getting a very strange mix of responses, splitting between Hawks and Doves in both parties.

sugarkang
06-22-2011, 09:50 PM
Without going off on too much of a tangent, my point is that we should encourage dissident candidates to get into the mix and speak otherwise unutterable truths to power.

And to use my favorite Noam Chomsky quote:
"And what makes you think that Power doesn't know the truth?"

Or something like that. Gotta love Noam. Well, used to anyway.

graz
06-23-2011, 08:41 AM
I think it's a good idea to discuss the Dem. Party. As a Green Party member who usually votes lesser-of-the -two-evils Democrat I'd be quite interested.

As you probably know, I see no real downside to solidarity with people who share my views in both parties, or in neither, or in no party at all. It's not the best way to win a given election, but I believe it's the way to build long-term relationships on an issue-by-issue basis and ultimately influence the people who do win the elections.

Taking it issue-by-issue I find a big chunk of Republicans who are to the left of the President and the mainstream of the Dem. Party, and lots of Dems. who are to the right of the President and the mainstream of the party.

Republicans to the left of Obama-Biden-Clinton are no longer freakish outliers; they are increasingly demanding a voice in their party. From my POV that's a good thing. Examples: Suddenly, McCain, along with his buddy on Libya John Kerry, seem like the outliers in backing the new war. A bipartisan movement for nuclear weapon abolition -- to the left of mainstream Dems. --has been afoot for several years and includes former cabinet officials from the Reagan and Bush I administrations. While Obama and company are "evolving" on gay marriage, many Republicans support it. There are Green Republicans who are appalled by the president's environmental record. Obama is pro-death penalty; many Republicans are not. The Afghanistan speech is getting a very strange mix of responses, splitting between Hawks and Doves in both parties.

Your license to lecture Dems (particularly) is enabled by the preceding rationale (too big for a bumpersticker though). It seems that you can still be true to your principles without demeaning opponents by suggesting that they need veils lifted and scales sloughed off. We see the same shit you do. We just don't claim to be as skilled as you in communication facilitation and peace promotion. It really boxes you in to a practice what you preach position, doesn't it? Nobody likes or respects a judgemental crusader that fails to honor their own credo. Oh to be human.

stephanie
06-23-2011, 11:33 AM
As you probably know, I see no real downside to solidarity with people who share my views in both parties, or in neither, or in no party at all. It's not the best way to win a given election, but I believe it's the way to build long-term relationships on an issue-by-issue basis and ultimately influence the people who do win the elections.

And as you know, I think the left's current approach to this has been counterproductive and, along with other factors, has resulted in the current situation in which both parties are moving to the right and the left and even liberals are marginalized. I think a big part of this tends to be that the left directs its wrath primarily at liberals, who are seen as sell-outs, while the right may talk a lot about RINOs, but never forgets that their wrath is directed mostly at, yes, liberals.

But, yeah, I'll start a thread. I'm in favor of real bipartisan coalitions, but that's not what I'm seeing here. Beyond that, I just think there are disagreements within the left about priorities and even about goals. Pacifism actually may have more allies in the isolationist, nativist Pat Buchanan right, on average, than among liberals who would be far more willing to make common cause on other issues (like torture and obviously cultural and economic issues). So what does this mean for a strategy? Does it matter than neither of these wings is likely to regain control in either party? Is the right more successful than the left due to more common issues, even those it seems that there should be a conflict between their cultural and economic wings? I am interested in talking through what people think about these things, in a non-combative way.

Wonderment
06-24-2011, 04:00 PM
The House is very skeptical (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/us/politics/25powers.html?_r=1&hp) of the Libyan War and almost pulled the plug entirely today.

At the very least, it's a strong bi-partisan message to the President that a) nobody except McCain-Kerry believes the "genocide" narrative any more about Libya; b) there is growing discontent among Congress members and the public at large over spending gazillions on wars and nation builiding, while cutting health, education, environmental and social welfare programs at home.

graz
06-24-2011, 04:16 PM
The House is very skeptical (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/us/politics/25powers.html?_r=1&hp) of the Libyan War and almost pulled the plug entirely today.

At the very least, it's a strong bi-partisan message to the President that a) nobody except McCain-Kerry believes the "genocide" narrative any more about Libya; b) there is growing discontent among Congress members and the public at large over spending gazillions on wars and nation builiding, while cutting health, education, environmental and social welfare programs at home.
The failure to cut funding really undermines the first part, no?:
At least they were against it, before they were for it. (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57711.html#ixzz1QDWDJSoz)
Is congressional leadership an oxymoron?

Wonderment
06-24-2011, 04:27 PM
At least they were against it, before they were for it.

That's okay. There's still a little cognitive dissonance, but even on the second bill there were 180 votes to rein in Obama. Hillary Clinton needed to pay a special visit to Congress to plead the interventionist case.

The trend is anti-war. Libya has turned out to be the last straw for a lot of people.

Did you read Obama's de-surging speech. Quite muddled. He's missing out on all the hope and change. He may miss out on re-election if he's not careful.

graz
06-24-2011, 04:36 PM
He's missing out on all the hope and change. He may miss out on re-election if he's not careful.
Hey, if so, at least you will have something to show for your posturing. Not that you really played a part. Forgive me, playing a role is exactly what you're doing.
Righteous man!

Wonderment
06-25-2011, 04:28 AM
This adds some clarity to today's votes in the House. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/is-congress-confused-on-libya/2011/06/24/AGYMRRjH_blog.html?hpid=z2)

A vote on Rep. Kucinich's End the Libyan War is coming up in July:

The next test for Congress will probably be a vote next month on another Kucinich amendment calling for a defunding of the entire Libyan mission.

“If what I’m hearing is accurate, I think we can win that amendment for a cutoff of funds in two weeks,” Kucinich said after Friday’s votes.

Wonderment
06-28-2011, 03:17 AM
The War Tax Calculator is here (http://rethinkafghanistan.com/iou/) and article here. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=211647&noquote=1)

Since the initial launch of Rethink Afghanistan, we've continued to raise the issue of the cost of war in partnership with other groups, including conservative organizations. For example, just prior to Tax Day 2011, we created a War Tax Calculator that let users see how much they pay for military spending on their taxes and allowed them to send an I.O.U. to Congress. We delivered the I.O.U.s at a bipartisan press event attended by progressive and conservative Members of Congress, along with experts outside experts from across the ideological spectrum, all arguing for slashing spending on the Afghanistan War. That gathering foreshadowed the current bipartisan push-back against continued monster Pentagon budgets while other popular programs go under the budget knife.

We can't afford to spend a trillion dollars a year on the war budget. Thanks to constant pressure from fed-up Americans, Washington, D.C. is starting to get the message.