Where Were You in ’02? Bush’s War and the Prince of Darkness
Posted March 11, 2008 | 11:51 AM (EST)
Back in September 04, I had a meeting in the Senate Intelligence Committee offices. I was there to discuss 9/11 issues. The war in Iraq came up in our discussions. I clarified and said, “Oh, you mean Bush’s war?” The republican staffer said, “The president? The president isn’t responsible for this war. Congress voted for this war. It is Congress’ war.”
The staffer’s wry, spooky smile (I actually call him the Prince of Darkness) oozed with absolute pride over his new Rovian spin of who to blame for the Iraq war.
I bluntly looked at him and said, “Congress’ war? Are you kidding me? Do you mean to tell me you guys are going to try and sell that line of garbage to the American people? That is was Congress who created and took us to this war? That it was Congress who started this mess? Do you really think you are going to get away with that? You will get destroyed. Everyone knows that Bush is responsible for this war! He started it! He owns it! It is his war! And nobody will ever forget that!”
And yet in 2008 we Democrats seem to have forgotten that it was George Bush (along with the Republican war machine) that brought us first and foremost to the war in Iraq.
I wonder if the Republicans ever imagined the success of their spin.
Remember back in 2002. There was a drumbeat for war with Iraq. First it was a link between Iraq and 9/11. Then it was WMD. Then it was Saddam was a bad man and needed to be eliminated. And remember how the vast majority of the country fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
Indeed, more than 75% of our Senate voted for the authorization to go to war — including Senators Daschle, Dodd, Kerry, and Rockefeller I might add — all of whom work as advisors on Barack Obama’s campaign. And yes, so did Senator Hillary Clinton.
So where did you stand back in 2002, 2003 and 2004? Do you remember the fever? The frenzy? The momentum? Do you remember the call to speak with one united voice? That was Senate Majority Leader Daschle’s plea to the American public back in 2002. Yeah, the same Tom Daschle whose advice and judgment Barack Obama seeks out daily on the campaign trail.
I remember it all. And, I know where I stood. I was down in Washington fighting for a 9/11 Commission and I was steadfast against the war in Iraq.
But back in ’02, for those of us who dared to speak out against President Bush and his war in Iraq, we stood virtually alone. There was no resounding chorus of people calling “bullshit” on Bush’s folly. No, back in 2002 you were called unpatriotic if you dared to question the president; labeled as helping the terrorists if you raised doubt about his divine call to action.
Now forgive me, but I do not recall the help (or the voice) of any Barack Obama from Illinois. Indeed, I cannot recall hearing or feeling the impact of any one speech from the Illinois Senator. Did he attend the rally on the mall in Washington? The marches and protests in NYC? Did he conduct national press interviews? Did he write any editorials? Organize any protest rallies? Mobilize the people? Did he write any petitions? If he did, I never saw any of them.
Yet according to Barack Obama, because he spoke out in 2002 against the war in Iraq, he is better qualified to be president.
And according to Barack Obama, since Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the president to go to war in Iraq, she is unfit to be President.
As Democrats we need to remember exactly who took us to war in Iraq. We need to remind ourselves exactly who is to blame for the huge price tag our soldiers and their families have paid. We need to never forget that it was George Bush who created this debacle. Costing us billions in dollars and worldwide respect.
Maybe that’s what bothers me most about Barack Obama. He keeps talking about working with the Republicans. Reaching across the aisle. Compromise. Well, I’ve been to Washington. I have fought battles in Washington — most of them against the Republicans — to get 9/11 legislation passed into meaningful law.
And if there is one thing I know for sure right now, I do not feel like reaching across the aisle and finding compromise with Republicans particularly on any of the following issues: Roe v. Wade; torture; FISA surveillance and illegal wiretapping; unfounded wars with Iran, Syria, or any place else; stem cell research; the erosion of our constitution; alternative energy and global warming; and/or healthcare reforms.
So why does Barack Obama want to compromise on such issues? Doesn’t he get it?
To me, those issues are non-negotiable. To me, after 8 long destructive years of Republican rule, there is no wiggle-room left for Republican taint and ruin. I remember all too well that it is the Republicans who are to blame for our nation’s current precarious state.
That’s why the Democrats must win the WH back in ’08. We cannot afford another term of Republican ruin. That’s why the only place I am willing to compromise is when it comes to figuring out the best way–the surest way–to get the Democrats in the WH.
So would somebody please tell Barack Obama to stop talking about shaking hands with Republicans and start talking about shaking hands with Hillary Clinton and her half of the Democratic party so we can all start working together to beat the Republicans.
Unity Ticket ’08.
How out of touch with reality is she? When speaking to people in Pittsburgh making less than $21,000 a year, she has the audacity to lecture them on career paths in the “Helping Industry” without disclosing the almost $400,000 salary she brings in at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Incidentally, HillBuzz wonders why she’s still collecting that salary while on the campaign trail, and also wonders why she received close to a $200,000 raise when her husband became Senator.
Complaining to people in working-class, blue-collar Pittsburgh about how expensive her daughters’ piano and dance lessons are (nearly $10,000 a year!) doesn’t seem like the best strategy to win Pennsylvania, either in the primary, or in the fall (where John McCain would seem much more in touch with Pennsylvania than the Obamas).
What’s next from this woman: cake for everyone!
HillBuzz is confused, which is understandable, since most of us at HillBuzz are old enough to remember seeing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in an actual cinema, when tickets were something like a dollar. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone? Hey, pass the milk duds, and don’t bogart those razzles.
For some reason, a story about a perpetually truant razzle-dazzler rings especially true these days. Can’t imagine why.
And let’s get this straight, just so HillBuzz understands: if Obama was too busy running for president, according to his own aides, to hold Senate subcommittee hearings on the war in Afghanistan, then how could he find time to dance with Ellen DeGeneres on her TV show?
Nothing against Ellen, mind you, whom we’re sure is a mighty fine dance partner, but HillBuzz thinks Obama’s time would have been better spent, oh we don’t know, working for the American people and holding subcommittee hearings on the war in Afghanistan.
Like he was supposed to do.
Bueller? Bueller? Obama?
That’s kind of what being elected to the United States Senate involves. The other 99 women and men in those chambers don’t cut out to go dancing, so why does Obama?
Today at lunch, a bunch of us at HillBuzz were talking, and someone brought up the ridiculous things people say about Hillary when they attack her. It really is crazy sometimes.
We at HillBuzz are wondering if you are proud of America.
We’re working on a project to teach Michelle Obama about America, and why, even in bad times, we are all still so very proud to be Americans. Maybe they didn’t teach history at Harvard or Princeton while Obama was there. Perhaps there are no books in the mahogany-shelved library of the Obama Mansion in Hyde Park. who knows.
But, this op/ed is a nice response to Obama’s miseducation.
What makes you feel pride in America? Looking back on the past 25 years, what have you loved most about America?
We want to hear from you:
From Mr. Obama’s LGBT Leadership Council Member – Full email:
Hillary Clinton is a disaster for the democratic party. Now she prefers McCain to Obama. Now we know it was SHE who told the Canadian government that her railings against NAFTA were political posturing. It was not Barack’s campaign!We cannot tolerate her lies and stolen election.Time for all of us democratics to wake up to this disgusting turn. As democratics this should affirm the end of her campaign.At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night. Really? So much involvement – so much togetherness. Where was she when Monica was having sex with Bill? 35 years of experience? When he was intimidating Katherine Wiley and Paula Jones? Where was the judgment on the cattle futures and white water. Do we forget Mark and Denise Rich? This was an impeached President who lost his licence to practice law. He committed perjury. They settled with Paula Jones for the full amount of her lawsuit. I haven’t forgotten and none of us should.I remember the scandal when the Clintons’ bags were searched when they left the White House and they had to return historic artifacts and gifts.When Bin Laden was building Al Qaeda, Bill and she were fighting impeachment, fighting Paula Jones, fighting Katherine Wiley.Please, we are going down a nasty road with a nasty, secretive and proven lying Clinton. We should all want to see her tax returns, I want to see her White House emails. Let really send this candidate what she deserves: the spotlight on her vetting. She says she’s been vetted. Partly true and it’s not pretty what came out.What still has to be vetted are her tax returns, her White House performance (we already know her disasterous failure on healthcare), her WH emails, the donations to the Clinton Foundation and library etc.Time to moveon again. Obama is the only credible candidate who can move on beyond this continuing nasty dynasty of Clinton and Bushes.
HillBuzz is aware of only one poll for Mississippi: a Real Clear Politics poll conducted on March 7, 2008:
HillBuzz has been running phone banks for Clinton the last few days and has had resoundingly positive responses. This could be interesting if the Undecideds break for Clinton, the way they have been in other states.
Also, Clinton leads Obama in white voters in the state, AND she leads in independents and Republicans, who are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary (and why not, since McCain secured the Republican nomination this week).
HillBuzz has no idea what’s going to happen, but if Obama loses Mississippi, a state he is heavily favored to win demographically, then this race is pretty much over. There won’t be a plausible argument the media can make for Obama, despite its endless cheerleading, if he loses the batteground state of Ohio, the big Democratic states like NY and CA, and loses Mississippi, a state he should win.
We’ll all find out what happens tomorrow.
* Every time a public opinion becomes almost unanimous it’s almost always wrong…only yesterday Obama was practicing his acceptance speech; his wife Michelle was mentally measuring the windows of her new home for replacement draperies, so that for the first time in her life, she could be proud of the White House.
* Instead, we’ve got a whole new story line — the gift of the older women of America, women “of a certain age” who turned out in enormous numbers to give Hillary a new life…Barack Obama is merely the latest new thing in town, something for the culture to chase and adore at the expense of the tried, the true and the unappreciated.
* Barack Obama, as the Democratic nominee, will feel the likeliest and longest-lasting effects of Hillary’s triumphs in Ohio and Texas. The licking he took in the latest primaries followed a week in which considerable damage was done to his halo. The “golden boy” may yet turn out to be a man not of gold, but of sounding brass. Questions grow louder about his connections to Tony Rezko, his accommodating friend and fundraiser, on trial now in Chicago for trying to shake down businessmen attempting to do business with the state of Illinois.
* But the worst of it may be questions about his truth-telling. When an Obama emissary was caught telling Canadian officials not to worry about the senator’s scorn for NAFTA because it was only campaign fibs and stretchers, the senator insisted nothing like that happened. When a Canadian diplomat confirmed yes it had, the senator conceded that yes, well, maybe something like that had happened after all. Then, he declined to take any more questions and stalked out of a press conference, saying he had said enough. Suddenly “the new thing,” the object of adulation and adoration, was beginning to look pretty much like “the old thing.” Hillary’s older women could have told you so.