Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Monday, June 30, 2008

The Grand Hissy Redux

by digby

I suppose everyone remembers waiting for The Man Called Petraeus to come home from the front and give us all a report on the Grand Surge Campaign of The Great Iraq War. We were told for months in advance that all judgment in Iraq vested in him, The Man who Knew Everything and for whom we must show our Utmost Reverence. He was a General, which according to the gasbags was only slightly less worthy of worship than Jesus and Tim Russert. In fact, when Move-On ran an ad criticizing the General, the senate took up a resolution that called for the body to "strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces." Seventy Five senators voted for it.

The point of that hissy fit wasn't to uphold the honor of General Petraeus or even the armed forces. It was shut down any criticism of the war in Iraq. That's what today's hissy fit against Wes Clark is all about too, with the added bonus of shutting down all criticism of John McCain's truly embarrassing ignorance on foreign policy in general.

The idea that Clark doesn't respect the military or was dishonoring a POW's service is absurd. The man spent a lifetime serving his country. He, of anyone, has the standing to combat this ridiculous conventional wisdom that says John McCain is a great world leader because he was a POW. It doesn't take anything away from his war record to to point that out. But now Clark has been repudiated. I'm sure the full spectrum of very serious people, from David Broder to David Brooks, are greatly reassured.

This was a case where the Art Of The Hissy Fit became a thing of enduring, classic beauty --- the Mona Lisa of fits, the Parthenon of hissies. They so cowed the political establishment around that General Petraeus pageant that now even a retired four star general and former CIC of NATO can't call McCain's military leadership credentials into question without the entire village media reflexively calling for the smelling salts. (And the Democratic leadership helped them do it, which makes it all the more lovely and perfect.)

Wes Clark is a very special person in the Democratic Party and should be highly valued. They don't have many people like him. He not only brings national security credibility and experience in a unique way, he has proven himself to be a tireless worker for Democratic candidates and causes for the last four years. He is very, very smart and would be an asset in any Democratic administration. Indeed, I think it was assumed that he would be in any Democratic administration. Certainly, one would think any Democrat would want him.

As I wrote yesterday, I think the Obama campaign is working overtime to prove to the Village that he isn't "dangerously" radical. At least that seems to be the campaign's overriding message at the moment. I have little doubt that everyone who's anyone has decided that Clark "screwed up" and that he had to be cut loose. The gasbag reviews are sure to be glowing. Everyone knows that you are not allowed to assail the military record of a war hero, right? (Oh wait .... only certain war heroes. I forgot.)

Again, it's all very convenient for Republicans. There's one less super smart,liberal military expert to contend with, paving the way, no doubt, for someone a little more ... reliable.

It's depressing, but predictable.

For those who need to come up to speed on what Clark said and how the hissy fit was written, Media Matters has the whole sordid rundown. And Columbia Journalism Review also looks at the right's phony meme pulling the media's strings.

I'll just put this up again so that everyone can see what a real fighting Democrat looks like for what might be the final time in this campaign. I would have thought the Democrats could use a fellow like this. Apparently not:

Update: I wonder if Rand Beers is going to have to be cut loose too?

Update II:
Bowers has a similar take on why this is happening: to discredit an important liberal foreign policy and national security voice.

Update III: For those of you who insist that this is some kind of super-duper jiujitsu, well --- if it is, it's not very effective. When you have a "surrogate" go out and say something which you want to "repudiate" but need to get "out there" you don't send one of the most important and credible voices on the left. You send some lowly factotum or political operative whose job it is to be publicly slapped down and whose credibility is irrelevant. You don't repudiate someone of Clark's stature unless you are prepared for him to be damaged and undermined in the future.

I don't believe the Obama campaign sent out Clark to say this. I think Clark was speaking for himself as a Democrat and respected four star General. And what he said was perfectly reasonable and uncontroversial. The establishment reflexively turned it into one of their little pearl clutching pageants. It isn't real. One of these days Democrats will learn that the hissy fit is designed to make them look weak and unprincipled.

Here's Clarks statement:

Statement by General Wesley K. Clark (ret)

"There are many important issues in this Presidential election, clearly one of the most important issues is national security and keeping the American people safe. In my opinion, protecting the American people is the most important duty of our next President. I have made comments in the past about John McCain's service and I want to reiterate them in order be crystal clear. As I have said before I honor John McCain's service as a prisoner of war and a Vietnam Veteran. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. I would never dishonor the service of someone who chose to wear the uniform for our nation.

John McCain is running his campaign on his experience and how his experience would benefit him and our nation as President. That experience shows courage and commitment to our country - but it doesn't include executive experience wrestling with national policy or go-to-war decisions. And in this area his judgment has been flawed - he not only supported going into a war we didn't have to fight in Iraq, but has time and again undervalued other, non-military elements of national power that must be used effectively to protect America But as an American and former military officer I will not back down if I believe someone doesn't have sound judgment when it comes to our nation's most critical issues.