Monday, June 30, 2008

Does Obama Need a Bigger Bus?

It seems the presumptive Democratic nominee may be getting off to a shaky start. Progressives, who were not too happy with his FISA comment, are now questioning his comment about MoveOn and his distancing himself from Gen. Wesley Clark.

For more on these two stories:

UPDATED with video: Obama criticizes in patriotism speech: Wesley Clark hears it too…
by John Amato at Crooks and Liars

... which included this comment: "Can we draft Hillary at the Convention?" Meanwhile, some of the former (and probably would be current) Hillary haters now find they must redirect their, well, hatred.

Wesley Clark and the Mock Military Molehill
by Taylor Marsh

But if you want to read something reprehensible, it's not Clark. Stop over to see Ben Smith's column if you haven't already.

"A lot of people don't know ... that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity," wrote's John Aravosis. "Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief?"

"Getting shot down, tortured and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience," Aravosis wrote in the blog post, titled "Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?"
Not having Hillary to hate has obviously caused Mr. Americablog's last wheel to come off. Joan Walsh calls it. To add, this is the type of crap that makes people walk away from being Democrats. It asks the wrong question completely, while taking valid points off the table because the track is so unseemly.
The entire post led one commenter to suggest that maybe Obama needs a bigger bus.



John J. said...

Amato must not have been paying attention back when the Betray Us ads came out. While Obama spoke out against the main Senate bill condemning Move On, he did call the ad an "unwarranted personal attack" on Petraeus.

Condemning personal attacks like this has been Obama's stance during the entire campaign. This is why, even though I agree with what Clark said, it doesn't bother me or surprise me that Obama would reject such an attack.

BAC said...

John - forever the Obama apologist! Do your lips ever get chapped?


John J. said...

BAC, what did I apologize for? I merely said these statements are consistent with what he has been saying for the past 18+ months. I can't even tell whether you are attacking Obama for condemning personal attacks or Ben Smith for the personal attack.

I am, and have always been, against ad-hominem attacks, so of course I support Obama's condemnation of such attacks.

Sue J said...

Condemning personal attacks like this has been Obama's stance during the entire campaign.

John, as a Clinton supporter I'd have to say, um, not so much.

BAC said...

John ... see above ...


Dean Wormer said...


I disagree that Clark's statement was a personal attack on McCain. It's a simple matter of fact that getting shot down in a jet in no way qualifies one to be POTUS, much less CIC.

Obama is an ass for even acknowledging the hissy-fit on the right, much less apologizing for it.

Having said that I don't share BAC's conviction that Clinton would be any different than Obama when it comes to giving the party's progressive base the finger in the general.

On FISA for example I haven't a shadow of a doubt that Reid and Pelosi delayed reconsideration of the bill at the request of both of our candidates so that they wouldn't have to deal with an angry base until the primary was finished.

Politics as usual for the democratic party.

Sue J said...

Perhaps Obama should have listened to the entirety of what Clark said, instead of reacting to what the media chose to promote. Media Matters has the transcript,:

Many in the media have cropped Clark's June 29 Face the Nation interview to the short soundbite: "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." Those cropping the interview make two serious errors. First, they ignore that Clark was repeating Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer's words in response to Schieffer's statement that, unlike McCain, Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down." Second, they ignore that shortly before that part of Clark's exchange with Schieffer, Clark praised McCain's service: "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war.

Click on the link to read the rest.

Nan said...

So, did McCain make a propaganda video? If it's not true, then, yes, the blog was being vile; if it is true, then it certainly suggests McCain isn't quite the hero everyone makes him out to be.

And Obama is a blithering idiot to toss Wes Clark under the bus. There are ways to create space between a candidate and his/her attack dogs, but complete repudiation isn't one of them.

John J. said...

Every time one of his core supporters personally attacked Sen. Clinton, he did react to defend Clinton. On numerous occasions you called that false and shallow. Did he defend her from every internet rumor or other random person? No, it wasn't his job. Just like he isn't going to respond to every blogger attacking McCain's record.

He also didn't call people to task about criticizing Clinton's (or McCain's) policies or actions. These are things that should be part of the political discussion.

John J. said...

And just for a bit of clarification, Obama didn't "throw Clark under the bus." Obama's statement was directed solely at what Clark said:
"no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters of both sides." You are letting the right wing media blow this WAY out of proportion.

Dean Wormer said...

So, did McCain make a propaganda video? If it's not true, then, yes, the blog was being vile; if it is true, then it certainly suggests McCain isn't quite the hero everyone makes him out to be.


I think McCain's service is way overblown when it comes to somehow qualifiying him to be president but don't think your statement is entirely fair. Lots of captured servicemen made propaganda statements under duress. The alternative is a bullet in the head. They're told to just survive if they're captured.

As someone who in no way shape or form would vote for McCain I don't knock him for anything he did while a POW.

BAC said...

Dean - with all due respect, Clinton is not in the race. My reason for including the comment from "Crooks and Liars" was to demonstrate how quickly a crowd can turn. Today's hero can be tomorrows ... well, whatever ...


Mary Ellen said...

BAC- I think those who have chosen to support Obama will make excuses and forgive anything he says or does. Look at their reaction when he said he would support the FISA bill, even if it does have telecom immunity. If you read Obama supporting blogs, they either made excuses and said they would vote for him anyway because they think he has some sort of "secret plan" after he gets into the White House, or they didn't write one post about it. All those progressives who railed against the Republicans and Bush for shredding our Constitution, are suddenly silent when Obama or any other Democrat is willing to be a part of the Constitution shred-fest.

The same thing with Obama's decision to backtrack on the Campaign finance...crickets coming from the Obama blogs. I'm sure they will say they are also "uncomfortable" with his speech about backing the faith based initiatives that they hated so much, but will give him a pass on that.

I've said it before, just like the Bush right wingers who make excuses for all that Bush has done, the Obama supporters are doing the same for their chosen messiah.

Regarding the remarks about McCain's service, I think it's a shame that anyone would go after him on his war record, and that goes for General Wes Clark. If they want to attack his policies, that's one thing, but I consider McCain a war hero to the highest extent. Just the fact that the Obamabots are willing to try to slam him about making propaganda films (I've never seen proof of this, btw), shows that they are willing to stoop to the lowest level of swiftboating...just like the right wingers did to Kerry. I have the feeling that those who are spreading such garbage about McCain's war record, are the one's who cried the loudest when it was happening to Kerry. The hypocrisy is getting awfully thick, and it's only July.

Dean Wormer said...

My reason for including the comment from "Crooks and Liars" was to demonstrate how quickly a crowd can turn. Today's hero can be tomorrows ... well, whatever ...

Yes, but I thought Obama would at least wait until he was comfortably in the White House to begin dissapointing us.


Dr. Zaius said...

Obama: 317
McCain: 221 :o)

Uh, how 'shaky a start' can it really be for Obama?
"Yes, but... but..."

John J. said...

Mary Ellen, you might want to read some pro-Obama blogs before you start accusing them of things. I have not seen one blog post on the blogs I read (true, I read the more moderate Obama supporting blogs a la Momocrats) that supports Obama's FISA actions, including my own.

On campaign finance, something else I addressed today my views are best summed up in a political cartoon BAC posted here two Sundays ago (which I linked to in my post today).

As for the faith based initiative stuff, I have been discussing this over on GMB's blog, but the long and short of it is that he wants to work for (liberal) social reform in the same way he has worked on everything else, from the bottom up. This includes working with religious organizations as well as independent grass roots organizations.

I am glad though that you support Obama in condemning the personal attacks against McCain. I couldn't agree with you more.

BAC said...

Dean - me, too! ha

Dr. Zaius - it's only July and Obama has already pissed off MoveOn, the gang at Crooks and Liars, and God only knows who else. The latest CNN poll has him in a dead heat with McSame ... who everyone knows is promising at least 4 more years of Bush. It certainly seems like a bit of a shaky start to me.

John - if Obama were smart he'd close the office of faith-based initiatives (instead of saying he will rename it) and let the system go back to pre-1996 days -- when there was more accountability.

His end goal could still be accomplished without placing the Constitution at risk.

He should then encourage Congress (that will hopefully be under Democratic control) to remove the "charitable choice" language from the welfare reform bill (which Bill Clinton should have been impeached for instead of the lame offense of having sex) ... and put an end to this nightmare altogether.


John J. said...

BAC, what do you mean "pissed off MoveOn"? He repeated something he said 8-9 months ago, before they endorsed him. As for the CNN "dead heat" Last I checked, a 5% lead, when the margin of error is 3% is not "dead heat" it is a lead. It is also only one poll when 2 other recent polls put him 15% in the lead. I agree that polls can change quickly (look at Nov '07 vs. Feb '08 on both sides), but this does give him the high ground at the start of this fight.

As for the faith-based stuff, I think Rev. Barry Lynn, in your more recent post, said it best: this is a good plan if he brings the clarity and accountability he is promising.

Mary Ellen said...


Mary Ellen, you might want to read some pro-Obama blogs before you start accusing them of things.

Actually, I have read the Obama blogs, that's where I get my information. Perhaps you should do some of your own reading, you might actually learn about the real Obama.

Oh...and if you think I support anything Obama says, you are out of your mind. Obama's statement about respecting McCain's service is nothing but political bullshit. He knows exactly what his surrogates are saying and he tries to make it look as if he is above it all. He did the same thing to Hillary as she was being attacked by his political hacks with sexist insults. If you can't see through that scam I have some swamp land I'd be happy to sell you.

Regarding his faith based initiatives, the thought of Obama using our tax dollars to give to those loons from his church so they could spread more hate against whites...makes my skin crawl. I'll bet Rev. Wright and Farrakhan are celebrating big time tonight.

mwb said...

Dean said: "Yes, but I thought Obama would at least wait until he was comfortably in the White House to begin dissapointing us."

Ha! Any belief in a Presidential candidate's advocacy of what you believe in, is sheer delusion.

I'm harsher than most, but the second anyone announces they want to be President, I put them in the same category as that creepy neighbor who collects photos of kids and offers to "babysit."

Dr. Zaius, please don't quote such things because they are silly. Check out the history of their electoral vote "tracking" in 2004. Note how much it changes. Also please note Senator Obama isn't EVEN near Senator Kerry's lead in July which 322 to President Bush's 205, let alone his lead in August which was 327 to Bush's 211!

We know how well that worked out. I'm not filled with optimism and I certainly would never use such polling as evidence of potential GE success, especially this early.

BAC said...

John - your apology tour continues ...