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Is this dumb luck, schrewd politics, or poor leadership?(17 posts)

Is this dumb luck, schrewd politics, or poor leadership?eyebob
Mar 4, 2003 11:45 AM
Today's Boston Globe had two OP-Ed pieces that taken together made me think about the Democratic "actions" taken during the current Iraq debate. The first is a piece outlining how the "coalition" among other things is unravelling and Bush's, I'm sorry Cheney/Rumsfeld's strategy is failing to garner support and appears to be collapsing. The second is a piece about how, at this time, the Demo's aren't willing to force another vote on the Iraq issue, partly because they don't want to have to put their own Senators/Congressmen on record.

So I ask, what is this? Dumb luck? Are they just lucky that the majority of the world (read Security Council) don't think that war is necessary and that because of thier own interests many nations are not lock-step with Bush? And as such, this suits their needs to discredits the Republican leadership?

Schrewd Politics? Did the Demos count on this? Did they read the tea leaves (start humming Steely Dan if you'd like) correctly? Were they smart enough to see where this would play out?

Poor leadership? Sort of tied to the "dumb luck" theory. Are the Demos just floundering about without any direction on this matter to the point that they're just plain reacting to whatever comes there way? True enough, Kerry and Kennedy are pretty loudly outspoken on the war idea, but where are the others?

Your opinion is sought.

Hmmmm, hmmmmm, hmmmm,


None of the above.czardonic
Mar 4, 2003 12:20 PM
As you said, Democrats are unwilling to force another vote, and major Democratic Presidential wanna-be's are stridently pro-war. In short, the Democrats are still lined up behind Bush and his increasingly unpopular agenda.

I guess you could say that poor leadership and the "dumb" half of "dumb luck" explains why Democrats think it is shrewd politics to become a rubber-stamp for a President that has so successfully marginalized their party.
Agreed.But for Howard Dean.Bring on the elections... nm128
Mar 4, 2003 12:34 PM
I'm afraid we've been chicknsht on this issue, andOldEdScott
Mar 4, 2003 2:03 PM
lost out on any political benefit that may have come our way.

I've never seen a party so hapless. We deserve what we get.
The trappings and allure of power, Edsn69
Mar 4, 2003 2:26 PM
With the loss of their last candidate and his withdrawl from the scene, the Party went into a state of anarchic rule of sorts, whereby the self-presumed leaders of the next race began their various efforts at jockeying for position. What should have happened is that the Party should have come together and found a common ground and a means with which to take advantage of the current situation. It didn't/hasn't. In stead, talking heads 1 though 10 are lined up with their knives ready to backstab. It's an amazing study in political greed.

...Not that the Repubs are much different, but they at least had sense enough to pull back when GW became their obvious front runner in the last round of primaries.

The time I've spent inside the Beltway over the past two years of my staff tour have taught me a lot about the trappings of power. There are a lot of Mr. (and Mrs.) Smiths out there, but when they go to out. That place, and it's dynamics and internal party BS, change people.

Don't fret, though. If as is reporting and the war starts next week, I doubt the current administration will last to another term. The publicity war at home and abroad has already been lost.
Yep, I've worked in politics for 20-some years andOldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 5:39 AM
this 'trappings of power' business never ceases to amaze me. It's like demonic possession.

The difference between the Dems and the Repubs, just considered as political operatives, can be boiled down to one word: Discipline. The Repubs are all about discipline, in pursuit of the greater good (power). The Dems have none, zero, zilch, nada. It's enough to make you tear your hair out.
I've only worked around it for the past 2,sn69
Mar 5, 2003 6:01 AM
and I've found most aspects of it to be wholely unappealing. That, in a sense, makes me ashamed since I work presumably on behalf of the public good in a federal government function. Nonetheless, what I've seen inside the beltway has digusted me to no end. The endless, counterproductive bickering on both side (at each other and within) serves little purpose. I'm not talking about reasonable debate or counter-philosophies either. Rather, I'm talking about the trend to do whatever it takes to remain in office.

My boss, a two-star, has likened this to my first experience with the X-rated government. He might be right. I don't much like what I've seen, yet I know from the operator's standpoint that things usually end up in the right direction. Usually.

In the end, I constantly think about an oped by Glenn from four or five years ago where he criticized America's youth and young adults for being so apathetic about politics. I'm a 30-sumthin', which may or may not include "young," but I'm afraid that I'm falling more and more into those that Glenn was so disappointed in. I just don't trust any of them anymore.....
Eye on the ballOldEdScott
Mar 5, 2003 6:53 AM
Just remember what you said: Things usually end up in the right direction. That really is true, and it's the miracle of representative government. It's just neat as hell that, out of the unappealing mess, good stuff usually rises and wins. Who knows how? But it does. The thought sometimes is enough to keep you going.
An apathetic youth <rant>Kristin
Mar 5, 2003 10:18 AM
I think the problem is that it is:

1) Glaringly obvious that all polititians are either corrupt or off track or will one-day-soon be corrupt or off-track.

2) The above makes voting more about being able to comprehend the complex maze of issues combined with the motives, goals and strength of both individuals and entire parties in order to choose the leader that will be able to acheive the most. Trying to pick the "fittest" leader who will survive the next 4 years with and be able to accomplish something--hopefully something good.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have time to study for my MCSE, work 40+ hours, take care of lifes responsibilities, relax, play, ride, and still understand all of the BS that goes on in Washington. And I don't have any children.

The whole thing has just become way to complex. It takes me a while to wade through all the crap before I see the real issue inside any debate. Then I have to start figuring out what I believe is best about that issue. Then I have to figure out which group will support the position I hold. THEN, I have to look at all the other issues that group weighs in on, understand the root of those debates and prioritize them against the first issue. GOOD NIGHT!

At best, I enter the voters box having made my best guess as to which candidite will survive 4 years, and then pray he doesn't do too much damage. Thats a sad way to vote. But what else can I do? Start going to bed at 2 am so that I can study poli-sci and bone up on all of the issues?

I'm not just apathetic about politics, I'm frustrated and angry. And if anything could destroy the American Dream, this could. Average people...75% of Americans, not being able to comprehend the issues well enough to choose a candidate.
re: Is this dumb luck, schrewd politics, or poor leadership?Alpedhuez55
Mar 4, 2003 3:56 PM
John Kerry is playing both sides. He voted to give Bush the authority to take action then immediately starts attacking the president for wanting to take action. He is only an "Emerging Front Runner" because of his wife's check book. Kennedy is at least being consistant in the past several months, but not consistant with his 1998 stance. The Democrats are going to find it hard to make any gains out of this issue. The ones who waant to lead have not stood strong on this issue. They are a headless party at the moment.

Now when the President gives Iraq more time to disarm, doing what most liberals want, he looks bad? What does that say about your position? People are all saying how gung ho he is to go to war, but he is being patient, but keeping the hawkish rhetoric.

Even if the UN security counsel votes against the war, the President could easily go against the UN saying they do should not determine our defense strategy. I think he would be able to gain support domestically. The UN is fast becoming a joke. They do not stand behind their own resolutions. The votes depend on smaller member countries who gives them the best aid package. Lybia chairs their Human Rights Conference!!!

Mike Y.
Bush is playing both sides too.czardonic
Mar 4, 2003 4:30 PM
As you say: "he is being patient, but keeping the hawkish rhetoric". Is he for this war on the grounds of moral conviction or political expedience?

If the UN is a joke, it is because the US has made it so. Unless you support immediate multilateral action against Israel to force its compliance with outstanding UN resolutions, you don't have a leg to stand on in demanding retribution for Iraq's foot-dragging compliance. How can the UN be expected to function when its most powerful member continues to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.

Should the UN also allow Iraq to adopt any "defense stragegy" it chooses? And if so, do you believe that 1441 be rescinded? Or are you a proponent of the same kind of hypocritical, "might makes right" American exceptionalism that undermined the UN in the first place?
Bush is playing both sides too.Alpedhuez55
Mar 4, 2003 6:24 PM
Well there is being a "patient hawk" and voting for action then talking against it. John Kerry voted for the war because he is running for president. There is no moral conviction there.

I think the UN is making itself relevent. The non support of of 1441 shows why it is fast becoming a "Toothless Debating Society" that the thread a few weeks ago mentioned.

And if Iraq is in "Foot Dragging compliance"? Why have they not disclosed the information on the other 300 missles of the type they only now started to destroy? They are in continued non compliance. Stop making Sadams excuses for him, that is France's job.

Mike Y.
People aren't allowed to change their mind?czardonic
Mar 4, 2003 7:05 PM
Kennedy made the point that just because Congress granted Bush the right to go to war at one point doesn't mean that circumstances can't change to the point that Congress should be able to reconsider the matter. Hard to argue with that, and no reason to unless you are scared that Congress will vote the other way. And if Bush refuses to return the matter to Congress because he's afraid it will result in a mandate to work through the UN or make a stronger case to the American people, that just proves how little he cares for the opinions of the people he is supposed to represent.

If you are going to cook up oxymoronic phrases like "patient hawk" you can't expect others to be outraged by Iraq's "foot-dragging compliance." Indications so far are that they will destroy those missles exactly as quickly as it takes to keep them one step ahead of a new UN resolution. Saddam doesn't need me to make excuses for him. So far he has been handing Bush his a$$ as far as world opinion is concerned. (It is really a testament to Bush's ineptitude that he could go up against Saddam in any areana and lose.)

There is no "non support" of 1441 in the UN. There is simply well founded suspicion towards the Bush's motives, no doubt enhanced by Powell's lame speech. It really makes no sense to call the UN a toothless debating society because they won't rubber-stamp Bush's agenda. In fact, they've shown enough teeth to take a serious bite out of his momentum. (Maybe these attempts to marginalize the role of the UN are wishful thinking?)
Same Old Song & DanceAlpedhuez55
Mar 4, 2003 7:53 PM
Kennedy is opposed to the war because it is a Republican in office. You admitted the same thing yourself last month.

You still are making excuses for a genocidal maniac. At least France and Germany have a financial interest to explain their moral shortcomings.

It seems we had this same exchange about a month or so ago. Rather than continue this here, maybe you should just go search through archives and re-read that one. Not much has changed, just replace "Chemical Warhead" with "El Sammoud Missle". It will save us both a lot of time and effort.

Have a good night.
Mike Y.
That kind of lazy mudslinging is why Bush has no credibility.czardonic
Mar 4, 2003 11:09 PM
What "excuses" am I making for a genocidal maniac? I wouldn't want to continue this conversation either if was scraping the bottom of the barrel for that kind of sleazy insinuation.
"Footdragging Compliance" nmAlpedhuez55
Mar 5, 2003 5:10 AM
"facile comparison"DJB
Mar 5, 2003 9:33 AM
"Unless you support immediate multilateral action against Israel to force its compliance with outstanding UN resolutions, you don't have a leg to stand on in demanding retribution for Iraq's foot-dragging compliance"

As usual, your relativism is really something to behold.

I doubt you are unaware of the differences between Chapter VI and Chapter VII UN resolutions, but if so, you can check out the following:

and (The last three paragraphs are key, especially the last line.)