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Old 03-06-2002, 12:14 PM   #1
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Daschle Doesn't Support War?.. .. Or Does He?

Just A Few days ago on Meet the Press Tom Daschle was ripping apart the War on Terrorism, Practically going against a president in times of War, Splitting with George W.

Here's an Article.. It's not the one I was looking for.. But it'll have to do for the moment...

Bear With Me on this one.. It's developing right before our eyes...

In the meantime.. Enjoy the fruitful posts of Bubba and Melon in the Johnny Swallow Thread...



March 5, 2002 -- SENATE Majority Leader Tom Daschle is an intelligent man, a very astute politician and a very partisan Democrat. He possesses a quality of thoughtfulness that has helped make him both the most powerful Democrat in Washington and a leading candidate for his party's 2004 presidential nomination. What he says should always be taken seriously because he speaks with care and prudence.
One can therefore assume that when Daschle decided last week to offer a very muted criticism of President Bush's efforts in the war on terrorism, he was not speaking off the cuff or hysterically or irrationally. By answering questions about the war in a skeptical and pessimistic way, America's most important Democrat chose deliberately to open the first meaningful chasm between his party and the president on the war since Sept. 11.

Now, you'd get the sense from the coverage of Daschle's press conference that he had merely questioned the "direction" in which the president is taking the war - sending U.S. special forces into the Philippines and Georgia.

That impression misrepresents what he actually did.

Here's what Daschle said:

* "There may be support in general for the president's request for defense, but somebody's got to ask tough questions." Translation: Democrats may deny the president the defense budget he wants.

* "I don't think the success [of the war] has been overstated, but the continued success, I think is still somewhat in doubt." Translation: I don't like the way the war has been going the past couple of weeks.

* "Clearly, we've got to find Mullah Omar, we've got to find Osama bin Laden and we've got to find other key leaders of the al Qaeda network, or we will have failed." Translation: The Democratic leader says the war is a failure without Osama and Omar in hand.

* "I think that we've got to make a better analysis of what's been done. I will say that at this point, I don't think it would do anybody any good to second-guess what has been done to date. I think it has been successful. But I think the jury is still out about future success, as I've said. But I'm not going to get into the business of second-guessing what we've already done." Translation: Despite my words, I'm considering getting into the business of second-guessing what we've already done, because we need "a better analysis" of it.

* "I think there is expansion without at least a clear direction to date. And before we make commitments in resources, I think we need to have a clearer understanding of what the direction will be." Translation: I am also thinking about second-guessing what the administration is now intending to do in the war, and my whip hand will be my control over the purse strings in Congress.

As these extended quotations suggest, the tone Daschle took last week was striking for its hauteur and emotional stinginess. He grudgingly acknowledges that the war has been a success, but suggests that in the future he might change his tack and declare it a failure.

Daschle says he did what he did because it's his responsibility as the leader of the Senate. The president isn't consulting with him and other senators enough, he says, and Congress is a "co-equal branch" of government.

That's disingenuous. Daschle did what he did not because he's a leader of the Senate but because he is a true partisan leader. He believes it's his responsibility to test the depth and strength of the public support for George W. Bush, who is not only the president but the head of the rival party.

Daschle may believe that the more skeptical news coverage of the war in the past month has penetrated into the American consciousness and has therefore given him and other Democrats an opportunity to chip away at a president who has been all but unassailable for six months.

But does the Democratic Party really want to play this role when it comes to terrorism? If its leading politicians become naysayers and skeptics, that will open up the party to legitimate charges that its anti-war and pacifist legacy dating back to the 1960s is just too strong to be overcome.E-mail: podhoretz@nypost.com


[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 03-06-2002).]

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Old 03-06-2002, 12:28 PM   #2
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Ok.. It has culminated in a complete U Turn in Political Stance by Tom Daschle.. What does this guy believe?.. Is He capable of Telling the Truth?.. THis is only relevant because there is a chance that he may be the next Democratic Presidential Nominee.. Just be aware of this, and this thing can slowly sink back down to the latest closed thread...


Daschle vows unity behind Bush
By Dave Boyer

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who last week criticized President Bush for the direction of the war in Afghanistan, is now praising the president's leadership.

In a resolution, Mr. Daschle declares that the Senate "stands united with the president in the ongoing effort to destroy al Qaeda." He also offers condolences to the families of U.S. troops killed in action.
"I think that on occasion it is important for us to speak with one voice in support of our troop efforts, and we're looking for an opportunity to do that," said Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat.
The about-face, initiated by Mr. Daschle's office after eight U.S. troops were killed in combat this weekend, follows the storm of protest he raised last week by calling into question the direction and success of the war.
"I think Senator Daschle saw how difficult it was to criticize the commander in chief during the conduct of the war, and perhaps he's trying to reaffirm his support," said Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican.
An aide to Mr. Daschle said his office received an increased volume of phone calls after his criticisms last week but did not know whether the callers supported or opposed his stance.
Democrats continued to search yesterday for safe ground on which to differ with the White House on the war. Some Democrats complained that the administration was not briefing them on the war's direction and on emergency plans to keep the government running.
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, said Democrats are still searching for an election issue as the opposition party.
"When you don't have anything substantive to talk about, you start talking about process or how you need more information," Mr. Lott said. "That's what's happening here. Senators that are grouchy that they're not getting enough information ... they can't complain about the war on terror, they can't complain about the economy because the economy appears to be improving. And so what do they have to complain about? 'Oh, gee, I need more information.'"
Mr. Daschle, after meeting with Mr. Bush at the White House yesterday, downplayed the dispute over being kept out of the war loop.
"I don't want to complicate those plans any more by going on and on about who was notified when," Mr. Daschle said. "I don't believe that there was adequate notification [on government contingency plans]. Having said that, we will move on."
The resolution proposed by Mr. Daschle and co-sponsored by Mr. Lott expresses "the gratitude of the nation" to U.S. Armed Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. It offers condolences "to the families of the brave American service personnel who have lost their lives defending America in the war against terrorism."
Last week, Mr. Daschle criticized the war operation as "expansion without at least clear direction" and said America will have failed if U.S. forces do not find terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Several colleagues came to Mr. Daschle's defense yesterday while emphasizing that Democrats did support the administration's war effort.
"Republicans turned on him as a group with questions about his patriotism and things that should never have been raised," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat. "We have a congressional responsibility to ask some hard questions even if we support the president, which we do."
Said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, "I don't think that Tom Daschle would say anything different than the president said, which is the war is being prosecuted well but we have a ways to go."
But Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, said yesterday the renewed fighting in Afghanistan signaled a change in administration policy by increasing the use of U.S. ground troops.
"The administration argued that ... we could in fact get the job done with relatively few American forces and significant Afghan forces," Mr. Biden said. "Now the administration has apparently concluded that it can't get done that way this time. It seems to be an inevitability. We are far from finished in Afghanistan. One of the questions that's going to be raised before it's over is, 'Do we need more military presence in Afghanistan to get the job done?' I suspect you'll hear that debate."
Several lawmakers said Mr. Bush had warned from the outset that the war would be long and would consist of lulls and periods of intense fighting.
"This is still going to require patience and commitment," Mr. Lott said. "And we're after some of the most hardened al Qaeda troops right now, and we need to be united and supportive in that effort."
Mr. Kyl dismissed complaints that lawmakers were not being briefed adequately on the war, noting that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld would conduct another briefing for the Senate today.
"It's not hard to be briefed by the administration," Mr. Kyl said. "Certainly, the majority leader has access to a lot more material than I do. Except for the specifics of operations ... that information is available to us by picking up the telephone."


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Old 03-06-2002, 12:29 PM   #3
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And I haven't even posted his Flip Flops on Stances in regards to this Shadow Government that he apparently never heard of or has no information on, Regardless of the fact that he has visited this Green Briar place in West Virginia.

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Old 03-06-2002, 01:04 PM   #4
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This is what has always bothered me most about Daschle. He really loves to play political games, and he always seems to say what he thinks people want to hear. Those are common attributes among politicians, but Daschle seems especially prone to doing this (as this example shows). If he believes that Congress needs to look more closely at what is happening in Afghanistan, he has every right to say it, but this flip-flopping of positions to meet public sentiment is what bugs me (in any politician).
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Old 03-06-2002, 05:33 PM   #5
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The only thing Tom Daschle officaly supports is his toupee
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Old 03-08-2002, 04:24 AM   #6
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Why cant someone question something and still support it? I dont see this as a flip flop (but then I was what this author would probably call a "Clinton-lover"). I see this as a clarification. I didnt see his initial comments as a lack of support. It's all in the translation, and this NYPOST guy interpreted them one way and put Daschle on the defensive, having to clarify that yes he does support the President in this time of war (come on, who in the US has the balls to say they dont?). But that doesnt make the questions Dashcle raised any less relevant.

What extremists fail to realize is that things are not ALWAYS black or white, you support it or you dont. Life and politics are not so simple you will find the more you live and the more you know.

Asking serious questions and expressing concerns is not only reasonable from an elected official, it is their duty to their constituents. I dont find his actions a lack of support at all.

I do find the guy from the NY POST looking for a story though and easily being able to create one with his "translations".

The funny thing is some of Daschle's concerns are similiar to mine, and I just now read this!
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Old 03-08-2002, 08:01 AM   #7
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Originally posted by U2LA:
I dont see this as a flip flop (but then I was what this author would probably call a "Clinton-lover".

Oh Boy.. Well.. Allow me to enlighten you on another Flip Flop...

This time on the SHADOW GOVERNMENT


Unity with the president on the war is not the only thing Puff did a pancake flip over. He's also done a huge 180 on this shadow government business. The White House briefed top members of Congress on Tuesday about a shadow government, set up in the wake of the September terrorist attacks, to quell criticism that it had ignored lawmakers. Ari Fleischer said that Daschle was briefed. So he basically lied through his teeth to Tim Russert on Meet the Press last weekend when he denied being privy to this information.

And then Carl Cameron of the Fox News Channel has this ditty on the Fox web site, "Democrats here are hopping mad because they say the Bush administration kept them in the dark about a government-in-waiting standing by since the terror attacks last fall. But before they get too worked up, they may want to consult their partyís dean, Sen. Robert Byrd, who knew so much about the program that he turned down a meeting with White House officials on it.

"Byrd, D-W.V., Tuesday confirmed that White House officials offered to update him on the administration's government contingency plans but he turned them down, saying he knew all about the program from an earlier stint as a Senate leader. Some of Byrd's colleagues, however, say they knew nothing of the plan.

"They argue that the president has a duty to keep them informed of his contingency plans. If something tragic happened, they said, they wouldn't know who is running the government. 'We were left in the shadow, so to speak,' said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. 'We don't know what the role is, what their current authority is, what their purpose is at this point, other than to be prepared if an emergency of some kind would take place,' he said."

So the Puffster has done a couple of big 180s, folks. First he did a 180 on splitting with the president on the war, claiming he's now a man of unity, and then he did a 180 about not knowing anything about the shadow government apparatus when he was indeed told about it.

Is he so consumed with the re-acquisition of power, so consumed with desperation to find an issue for this election, that he's just incapable of being truthful?


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