As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Apply The Standard

I confess to being a little pissed off that the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, someone with a fresh and engaging perspective on foreign policy, someone that Democrats should be pushing to get involved in the foreign policy arena, can have her political career put on ice for a three-second indiscretion, making a comment that approximately every staffer of a high-stakes campaign has said about their opponent at one time or another, if not worse. But that's politics, and Samantha Power didn't want to be a distraction, so she quit. I wish her well and hope she would have a very high-ranking job in a potential Obama Administration.

Well, then we have to fairly apply the standard. Calling Barack Obama Ken Starr is the equivalent of calling him a monster in Democratic circles. Howard Wolfson needs to resign.

(The point, for the dense, is that NONE of them should have to resign over something they say. Are we all three years old?)

Furthermore, Hillary Clinton should resign, as long as we're using this yardstick, for claiming that there's some imaginary threshold needed to be commander-in-chief and you can only cross it by marrying a President and sipping tea with Sinbad in Kosovo.

“I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold.”

This infuriates me on so many levels. It's an example of even-McCainism, where Democrats hide between the legs of manly John McCain and prop up his dangerous ideas on national security for no good reason. Someone who frightens military leaders and top aides with his hotheaded temper and batshit crazy ideas about constant war. Nobody who thinks this kind of stuff has crossed the threshold to be so much as a dogcatcher:

But what you may not have heard is an extended critique of the kind of Commander in Chief that Captain McCain might be. To combat what he likes to call "the transcendent challenge [of] radical Islamic extremism," McCain is drawing up plans for a new set of global institutions, from a potent covert operations unit to a "League of Democracies" that can bypass the balky United Nations, from an expanded NATO that will bump up against Russian interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus to a revived US unilateralism that will engage in "rogue state rollback" against his version of the "axis of evil." In all, it's a new apparatus designed to carry the "war on terror" deep into the twenty-first century.

"We created a number of institutions in the wake of World War II to deal with the situation," says Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top adviser on foreign policy. "And what Senator McCain wants to begin a dialogue about is, Do we need new structures and new institutions, both internally, in the US government, and externally, to recognize that the situation we face now is very, very different than the one we faced during the cold war?" Joining Scheunemann, a veteran neoconservative strategist and one of the chief architects of the Iraq War, are a panoply of like-minded neocons who've gathered to advise McCain, including Bill Kristol, James Woolsey, Robert Kagan, Max Boot, Gary Schmitt and Maj. Ralph Peters. "There are some who've moved into his camp who scare me," Wilkerson says. "Scare me."

First is an unnamed "new agency patterned after the...Office of Strategic Services," the rambunctious, often out-of-control World War II-era covert-ops team. "A modern day OSS could draw together specialists in unconventional warfare; covert action operators; and experts in anthropology, advertising, and other relevant disciplines," wrote McCain in Foreign Affairs. "Like the original OSS, this would be a small, nimble, can-do organization" that would "fight terrorist subversion [and] take risks." It's clear that McCain wants to set up an agency to conduct paramilitary operations, covert action and psy-ops.

Why the hell would you want to validate and legitimize that kind of dangerous nonsense? McCain's neoconservatism has been totally rejected and shown to be a farce. Praising him at the expense of a Democratic opponent who might end up being the nominee is the worst kind of stupidity. McCain has neither the ideas or the temperament to be commander-in-chief. Period.

Hillary Clinton can either resign, or stop this tactic of being continually shocked about random comments. And Obama, for his part, can stop playing the part of a wounded animal and buy in to this browbeating.

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