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Old 05-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #436
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Well then knock yourself out being outraged about what an administration staffer allegedly said about a beauty queen and a canine.
Exactly...

This just speaks volumes to the concerns, intellect, and how uninformed the Rush audience right is...
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:30 PM   #437
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back on topic of how Obama is doing,
I guess that is what this thread is about

Quote:
Obama puts pragmatism over promises

His willingness to consider new perspectives and change his position, even when it angers his supporters, is a stark contrast to predecessor George W. Bush's inflexibility.
By Christi Parsons and Janet Hook

7:36 PM PDT, May 16, 2009

Reporting from Washington — For weeks, Army Gen. Ray Odierno had passionately pressed his point with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates: President Obama's plan to release photographs depicting the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners would be a costly mistake.

Last week, when Odierno was in Washington for a meeting with the president, the top U.S. commander in Iraq was pleased and grateful when Obama revealed that he had changed his mind and would oppose release of the photos.

"Thanks," Odierno said. "That must have been a hard decision."

"No," Obama replied, "it wasn't at all."

It was a telling moment -- a glimpse into one of the most striking features of the new president's approach to decision-making.

Unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, who styled himself as "the Decider" and took pride in sticking with decisions come what might, Obama is emerging as a leader so committed to pragmatism that he will move to a new position with barely a shrug.

Whether it's a long-standing campaign promise or a recent Oval Office decision, Obama has shown a willingness to reverse himself and even anger his most liberal supporters if he can advance a higher-priority goal or avoid what he sees as a distracting controversy.

"This is the story of an ambitious new administration running up against reality at home and abroad," said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former advisor to President Clinton. "The realities on the defense and foreign policy fronts are both more intractable and quicker to show themselves for what they are."

Whether Obama's changes are viewed as "flip-flopping" may depend on what Galston calls "the basic optic."

"If he's basically faithful to the agenda he ran on, the reversals -- such as they are -- are going to be seen as tolerable exceptions rather than as leading indicators," he said. "If you are a single-issue person, what the president says in regard to your issue may be a bitter disappointment."

In quick succession last week, for example, Obama announced two major shifts on sensitive national security issues and drew cries of concern from the American Civil Liberties Union and open-government organizations.

He said he would oppose making the detainee pictures public -- a switch that could put him at odds with a federal judge who ordered them released. And he declared that the administration would stick with a modified version of the Bush administration's military tribunals for trying terrorism suspects; during the campaign he had promised to rely on federal courts and the traditional military justice system.

Similarly, on domestic policy, Obama aides last week suggested that much of the fees for exceeding carbon emissions caps might be given to factory owners and power companies if that's what it takes to gain their support for the proposal. During the campaign, Obama called for the fees to be used for alternative energy technology and middle-class tax cuts.

The recent shifts appear to be part of a pattern of starting in a liberal position and then rerouting toward the center.

For example, Obama staked out an unequivocal position against torture during the campaign, and after taking office made it his first order of business to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and ban the use of interrogation techniques beyond those allowed by the U.S. Army Field Manual. Those techniques prohibit physical contact or force.

But as president, he has not ruled out the practice of turning terrorism suspects over to other countries that employ torture, a practice known as "extraordinary rendition." He also ordered a task force to study the field manual and recommend "additional or different guidance."

"I think he's pragmatic," said Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice, which is gearing up for a possible fight over Obama's Supreme Court nominee. "He's trying to compromise. But is he also an idealist? If 'idealist' means soaring rhetoric, that's easy. But if it means you'll fight for what you believe in, even when it's not pragmatic, then no."

The change from the Bush years is striking. Bush would "stick with his way no matter where it led," said Matt Bennett, vice president of Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. "Obama has the opposite personality and makeup." Obama does not believe "that every progressive orthodoxy is sacrosanct," Bennett said.

Though for the most part liberals have held their fire, the last week's events raise the question of how long they will tolerate the pattern.

As the House debated war funding last week, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) compared his position to when, after being elected to the House as an antiwar candidate in 1969, he initially gave President Nixon's war policy the benefit of the doubt.

"I decided to give him a year. I'm pretty much in the same position," Obey said. "We have no choice but to give the president a shot. It's a miserable situation that he's inherited, and he does not have a good hand to play."

Indeed, some Democrats cringed as the news Obama delivered to Gen. Odierno made its way around town. Odierno was not the only military leader expressing concern, but he was among the most passionate, Pentagon officials said.

The decision was informed by weeks of talks. During that time, the White House watched as Pentagon officials -- convinced they were going to have to release the pictures -- debated with officers in the field on how to mitigate the effects.

In the end, Obama took the problem off their shoulders -- and drew praise from unlikely quarters.

"This says a lot about how President Obama makes decisions," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "He stood up to his political base and made a decision.

"Changing one's mind is a strength, not a weakness," Graham said. "He's realized the difference between being a candidate and being commander in chief."
I think this article is pretty accurate about how Obama governing.

This style is a lot like Bill Clinton's. I prefer this style much more to the 'line in the sand' style the Bush/ Cheney gave us.

The problem with the pragmatic approach is that 'true believers' get upset and may withdraw their support. This hurt Bush 1 in 1992. He was more pragmatic than dogmatic.

I supported Hillary in the primaries because I believe the country is better served with a 'pragmatic leader'. Obama really did not present himself that way. I am glad he has a flexible mindset. This will drive conservatives nuts, they want him to paint himself into a corner. Just like W did.
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:55 PM   #438
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Quote:
Obama puts pragmatism over promises

His willingness to consider new perspectives and change his position, even when it angers his supporters, is a stark contrast to predecessor George W. Bush's inflexibility.
By Christi Parsons and Janet Hook

7:36 PM PDT, May 16, 2009

....

Unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, who styled himself as "the Decider" and took pride in sticking with decisions come what might, Obama is emerging as a leader so committed to pragmatism that he will move to a new position with barely a shrug.

Whether it's a long-standing campaign promise or a recent Oval Office decision, Obama has shown a willingness to reverse himself and even anger his most liberal supporters if he can advance a higher-priority goal or avoid what he sees as a distracting controversy.

...

Whether Obama's changes are viewed as "flip-flopping" may depend on what Galston calls "the basic optic."

The phrase "flip-flopping," when applied to political figures, ignites a blinding rage in me. There's something wrong with reassessing your position on a matter in light of new information, and then adjusting your stance accordingly? Um, no. That's using critical thinking skills to make the best decision possible, as opposed to rigid, inflexible thinking, which often leads to poor decision making. I kept waiting for someone in the Kerry camp to point this out in '04, when the phrase was used against him on a daily basis.
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:59 PM   #439
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hey

a 'flip - flop' is a 'flip-flop'.

Quote:
Whether Obama's changes are viewed as "flip-flopping" may depend on what Galston calls "the basic optic."
"the basic optic." is clear vision.

Obama flip-flopped.

a blinding rage will help.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #440
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I think that Obama has done great so far. I dont see why the right feels the need to already act like its the end of the world. We had to sit through 8 years of Bush... and that administration was a shame, and a complete embarrassment to our nation and our constitution. I dont think the GOP is in any real position to complain about a president's policies.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:03 PM   #441
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
hey

a 'flip - flop' is a 'flip-flop'.


Obama flip-flopped.

Feel free to go into a rage.
A flip-flop is a sandal. Or a stupid talking point made up by Rove and Co. to make a political opponent seem weak. Which, in retrospect, may have been true, since the political opponent neglected to mention the obvious, that in many cases, it's actually a strength. Bah.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #442
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"There's nothing either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."

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Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post
A flip-flop is a sandal. Or a stupid talking point made up by Rove and Co. to make a political opponent seem weak.
a scandal?

you might say "no"

then 3 beers later 'flip-flop', and say "yes".

A scandal? no. Scandalous, maybe.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:23 PM   #443
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Exactly...

This just speaks volumes to the concerns, intellect, and how uninformed the Rush audience right is...
BVS, come on. Simply because you disagree with someone does not give you free reign to directly insult them. You seriously need to stop connecting every difference of opinion to a personal fault in the other person.

Stick to their argument, not their character, please.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:58 PM   #444
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Originally Posted by Strongbow View Post
Everyone? Watch what these Democrats have to say on the issue below:

YouTube - Democrats on Iraq + WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction)




Colin Powell supported the use of military force to remove Saddam from power in 2002, and has continued to support removing Saddam from power to this day. In an interview with Barbara Walters in 1995, Colin Powel said the following about using military force to remove Saddam from power:

"when the President says it was not tolerable for Saddam to remain in defiance of UN Security Council Resolutions, I am right there with him on the use of military force"




Why do you think the Iraq Liberation Act was passed in 1998? Why do you think Bill Clinton said the following on December 16, 1998?

"The hard fact is, that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that THREAT, once and for all, is with a new Iraqi government. A government ready to live in peace with its neighbors."

President Bill Clinton - December 16, 1998


A lot more had changed between 1995 and 2002. The sanctions and weapons embargo had completely fallen apart by 2002. There was literally no monitering or inspections at all along the entire Syrian/Iraqi border by the summer of 2002. UN inspectors were kicked out of the country in 1998 after having been harrassed and prevented from doing much of anything in the 18 months prior to that point. Plenty of changes that impact the security situation, the question is are some people willing to read, understand, and acknowledge these basic facts.




Polls done of the American people on the question of removing Saddam from power from 1991 to 2001 as well as from 2001 to 2003 shows that the majority of Americans supported using military force to remove Saddam from power.

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/06/26/rel7c.pdf page 5




Intelligence "failures" are very common. Just take a look at the intelligence about Iraq's WMD's prior to the 1991 Gulf War and what was found out after the 1991 war.

The issue is not actually the intelligence, but the Saddam regime's compliance. Intelligence because of its nature can always be debated, what was not debatable was Saddam's failure to comply with the resolutions and the Gulf War Ceacefire agreement he signed.

While certain WMD's of Saddam's were not found, there was no firm evidence that such WMD had been dismantled or completely disposed of by Saddam, only theory's as to what might of happened. In addition, WMD related programs that were in violation of the resolutions were found after the war.



It was already widely acknowledged by the security community long before Bush ever became President that Sarin Gas and Anthrax could be smuggled into the country and used against the civilian population and cause enormous loss of life. To downplay or completely ignore such threats, especially in the wake of 9/11 would have been irresponsible.





Actually, the Clinton Administration and Bush Administration disagree with you on that point. It was the Clinton administration that made regime change in Iraq US policy. It was the Bush administration that successfuly changed the regime in Iraq. Clinton's statement on December 16, 1998 was correct.



The wrong policy would have been if the United States did not respond with force until Saddam was actually doing what he did in 1991, moving his military into neighboring countries, etc. The Policy of the United States and the world community since 1991 has been to have a policy in place to PREVENT those events from ever happening again, meaning the line in the sand is no longer the border of another country, but Saddam's compliance with disarmament and other issues related to the security of the region. Military action was used by both the Clinton and Bush administrations with this in mind. Both administrations came to the conclusion that the only way to achieve US security objectives in the region was by removing Saddam from power.





The number of people that think it would have been a better idea to let Saddam stay in power gets smaller every day.






wow. what compelling "evidence" that's actually related to the issue at hand and doesn't conflate "regime change" with "full-scale invasion and overthrow by the US military."

it's such an impressive thing you've done here, STING, that you should have let the Bush administration know that this was all they needed to do in order to completely justify the cost of an invasion to the American people.

sadly, they weren't as informed as you. they felt that they needed to torture detainees in order to fabricate the nonexistent links between Saddam and AQ in order to further justify their policy. i know you think they didn't need to do that -- but the fact is, they thought they needed to do that! weird!

i wish you had told them back in 2001/2, and especially as the torture was ramped up -- 183 times in March of 2003 alone! the month of the invasion! just a coincidence! -- so that they would have known that their case for invading Iraq was so rock solid, so coherent, so cohesive, that there was no need to torture.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:22 PM   #445
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Stick to their argument, not their character, please.
Well there wasn't much of an "argument" there, it was just tabloid fodder, and my comment was more about how Rush spent 30 minutes on this piece of "news" on Friday. But I will tone it down...
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #446
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Any comments on his Notre Dame speech?
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:47 PM   #447
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Any comments on his Notre Dame speech?
I thought the protest was ridiculous.

i mean, if a student, perhaps a validictorian, who happened to be Pro-choice gave a speech at graduation, would people protest? Are people who think differently from them not allowed on campus as students, speakers, or teachers?

I know that there are pro-choice people at notre dame, but I dont think their views are treated with respect from what I saw in the past few days. and for god sakes...its the president! At least appreciate that he is coming to speak at your school. As much as you disagree with him on a single issue, at least let him congratulate you on graduating!?!
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #448
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^ On the contrary, it was Notre Dame who invited him, and the Notre Dame administration which stuck to its guns about having him speak there. Most of those protestors bused or drove in from elsewhere--Randall Terry, Alan Keyes, Norma McCorvey etc.; these people have nothing to do with Notre Dame. According to the local paper, there were only 26 actual students (out of more than 2600) boycotting the ceremony. Now if actual students and faculty who objected to Obama speaking there and/or receiving an honorary degree wished to protest, great, go for it, but this should never have become a free-for-all with random pro-life activists busing in from all over the Midwest to wave signs, push around bloody dolls in baby strollers, hire planes with pro-life banners to fly around overhead for weeks, etc. A commencement speech is NOT a political event, it is for the students. And no, Obama was not their first pro-choice commencement speaker, nor even the first pro-choice sitting President to deliver a commencement address there...let alone all the other Catholic teachings Presidents who've spoken there haven't supported: on capital punishment, Iraq War, Latin America policies, etc.

A friend of mine who's taught there for many years (and was at the ceremony yesterday) emailed me a link to the speech, which I watched most of. It seemed like a very fine speech.
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:59 PM   #449
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here's a reasonable anti-abortion, Catholic response:

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Obama Courageously Misses the Point

What did you think of President Obama's commencement speech Sunday at Notre Dame? How will the Notre Dame controversy change the abortion debate in America?

When a few protesters interrupted President Obama's speech at the Notre Dame graduation by shouting, "Stop killing our children!" the student body replied by chanting, "Yes, we can."

This inadvertent juxtaposition of messages was, perhaps, not the best way to placate traditional Catholics.

President Obama gave a good speech at the University of Notre Dame graduation if rhetorical skill is the measure of speaking excellence. Graduation speeches are notoriously tricky: most people little remember anything said in them, but only resent their length. Obama navigated those waters, but he did so by missing the point of the entire controversy surrounding the visit.

Notre Dame aided that misunderstanding, but watching the ceremony made it obvious why their better judgment was clouded. It was moving to see civil rights leaders in Notre Dame's history honored and live to applaud the nation's first African-American president. Given University leadership in the cause of civil rights, it is understandable that Notre Dame would wish to honor this President.

Though it was a mistake to give him a high honor, it was not a mistake to let him speak. Anybody thinking there would be widespread disruption at the ceremony or a lack of courtesy knows nothing about Christian higher education. If he had to come and be given an award, Notre Dame students were right to give honor to the office of President by politely hearing him out even if they do not respect the abortion views of the man.

Besides, anyone who thinks traditional Catholic views represent some vast majority of the Notre Dame student body also does not understand the state of Catholic higher education!

President Obama's speech was a very bad speech in that it pretended to be one thing when it was something else. I predict it will be hailed for boldly confronting the "controversy surrounding his appearance," but he was not bold and he did not confront the controversy.

The President spoke as if the controversy centered on his appearance at Notre Dame and speech when in reality it centered on his being honored despite his views.

Traditional Christians in the academy were not concerned that the President was invited to speak at a Christian university. Who wouldn't welcome the chance to hear the perspectives of the single most powerful political figure in the world? President Obama's views on abortion are wrong, and morally wicked, but listening to an argument on them is not.

President Obama "bravely" defended civil dialogue in his speech when civil dialogue was not the question. No reasonable academic, and no patriotic American, questions the right of our President to speak his mind. All of us are in favor of civil discourse and few see any reason to question the motives of our opponents.

Those who do not want to listen to their opponents are wrong. We should all charitably read opposing views on the great issues of the age and treat our opponents with tough-minded respect. If we still disagree, we should charitably believe for as long as we can that they are misled and not wicked.

The sad truth, as our own lives demonstrate to us, is that we often have noble motives for wicked acts. We did not mean to hurt anybody, but we do. Our positions are not sanctified by our sincerity. This is as true of the proponents of segregation, well-intentioned though they are, as it is of advocates of abortion.

Notre Dame did not just listen to the most powerful abortion advocate in the world, but loudly and publicly honored him. He is a man, perhaps with noble motives, who is sending their tax money to pay for abortion. If the University attacks those who opposed this honoring of an abortion advocate as if they were opposed to free speech or hearing other points of view, then the University will be guilty of grossly distorting the basis for opposition.

Perhaps, the President's speech will persuade Notre Dame to avoid this tactic. As a warning to college administrators not to slander their critics, the President's speech may have some good effect.

What of abortion?

About abortion, the President "bravely" said nothing at all to defend his view that it should be legal to take the life of a child in the third trimester or that experimentation on humans (or potential humans) is licit. He said nothing at all to show why the Catholic papacy and bishops are wrong to say that support for abortion is a sin so grave that it overshadows other good deeds in politics.

In short, Notre Dame and the President talked about what they agreed on and ignored their differences. Any pretense that the President was brought to the campus to give all points of view is laughable. President Obama did not give his point of view, but was cheered for "bravely" having it by a school dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Perhaps well-intentioned academics are so skilled at dialogue that they are apt to ignore actions. While President Obama invites Notre Dame to talk, he governs outside of the culture of life.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #450
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About abortion, the President "bravely" said nothing at all to defend his view that it should be legal to take the life of a child in the third trimester or that experimentation on humans (or potential humans) is licit. He said nothing at all to show why the Catholic papacy and bishops are wrong to say that support for abortion is a sin so grave that it overshadows other good deeds in politics.
This has nothing to do with a convocation speech - why the hell would he talk about it?

The whole protest sounds incredibly silly. And I agree with yolland, it was really not as much a reflection on the school but outside groups who saw a chance and an opening for public spectacle.
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