Unchurchillian

December 3rd, 2009 at 7:55 am David Frum | 96 Comments |

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My column for The Week argues that President Obama’s West Point speech was not as bad as it sounded.

President Obama’s challenge is to persuade the country that Afghanistan is worth it. A grand Churchillian oration would be utterly counter-productive to that end. Imagine that Obama had delivered to the West Point cadets an updated version of the tremendous Churchillian words:

“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

The television audience would have wondered: Has this man lost his mind? A phrase like “however long and hard the road may be” only raises the awkward question: Wait a minute – if it is going to be as hard and long as all that, maybe we should just forget this whole faraway war before it revs up.

Americans cannot be inspired to risk all for Afghanistan. But they can be persuaded that the war is necessary and winnable – if the promises are delivered in ways that sound considered and credible.

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96 Comments so far ↓

  • MI-GOPer

    BarryS advises: “Congrats Hardly(Conservative) on getting on the list.”

    It’s pretty sad when you start congratulating yourself for less than dubious feats, balconesfault-BarryS-Demo-RioRancho-MrFace-Moderate.

    Kind of like cheering when Obama finally makes a decision on something. Bush was right, Obama is no deciderer… heck, it’s enough for his side to stop party crashing pima donna TV celebs. Did anyone wonder why a pair of bankrupt, galmour gal con artists made it into the WH so easily? With a WH guest list that included tax cheats, liars and scoundrels –and that was just the Cabinet– the con artists look authentic.

  • ottovbvs

    Chekote // Dec 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    “You are confused. Clinton was the draft dodger. Bush was a pilot in the National Guard.”

    ……..a real hero I’m told just like Cheney

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Dec 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Chekote …

    …….balconesfault……Chek would much rather focus on Bush’s enormously distinguished career in the national guard rather than the fancy dress theatrics on the aircraft carrier which are actually much more relevant to his presidential record……in fact wearing a uniform is not a qualification for the presidency……some of the biggest boneheads I’ve ever met in my life(like f******* unbelieveable) had uniforms with stars on them………( (of course this was before I met gopher)……of course I also met some amazing guys with stars (the point being it’s not the uniform it’s the man……Bush was a lightweight when he was in the air guard and he hadn’t changed one whit when he put on the fancy dress that Rove handed him)

  • Chekote

    Otto

    What is the point of still harping on Bush? I mean you and others like you consider yourselves so intelligent and informed and then you spend half a day making arguments worthy of the Birther crowd. Let is go. Bush was president for 8 years. You can’t change that any more than I can change the fact that Obama was elected president in 2008.

  • balconesfault

    Why are you people still stick on Bush’s service while the Vietnam war was going on

    Eh – it’s tit for tat when arguing about atmospherics over substance, which seems to be a huge part of the attacks on Obama from the right.

    Your side even went so far as to manufacture memos.

    No evidence that memos were manufactured by any Dems – at best, they were manufactured by someone with a Bush grudge from outside the political process … I’m sure a seasoned news staff would have had their antenna up had it been handed to them by an operative.

    You guys need to get together with the Birthers and share conspiracies.

    I’m sorry – but what I laid out were facts. Not missing certificates of birth versus birth certificates, or such … but the fact that Bush himself took it upon himself to skip a critical physical, and thereafter was disqualified from flying for the Nat Guard after having been trained as a pilot. There is nothing whatsoever conspiratorial about that. I simply asked what you would say about a Democratic politician who had done that in his youth.

    Your response tells me all I need to know on that count.

    MI-GOPer: I’ve been pointing out that this is likely to be the best year EVER for the Taliban since they kicked out the Soviets.

    Oh yeah … this is SO MUCH BETTER for the Taliban than when they actually had complete rule over the nation of Afghanistan. I’m sure every one of them would gladly trade occupying the seats of power in Kabul for the privilege of hiding in the mountains while getting to kill a few hundred US troops while we kill many more of them. I’ll bet that’s their favorite thing in the world, being hunted like dogs with the hope of maybe killing a US soldier before they themselves are killed, instead of RULING THE WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY.

    Your arguments are so specious they’re hardly worth derision.

  • Chekote

    I must say. It is kinda fun to see liberals still losing so much sleep over Saddam being removed from power and KSM getting waterboarded.

  • balconesfault

    Chekote – I’d have loved for Saddam to have been removed from power without a $1 trillion tab to be paid by the US.

    I actually lose sleep over anyone being tortured by our government. One of my many flaws.

  • BarryS

    “I must say. It is kinda fun to see liberals still losing so much sleep over Saddam being removed from power and KSM getting waterboarded.”

    I loose no sleep at all over those things. I do loose sleep though over 4000+ of our own troops killed, Tens of thousands maimed. 100,000+ Iraqis killed and over a million displaced many still in refugee camps and for what. So that GW Bush could avenge daddy’s failure. That is tragic and pathetic at the same time.

  • sinz54

    Now there’s three conservatives who are willing to give President Obama’s war policy a chance: David Frum, myself, and Newt Gingrich:

    By DAN SEWELL

    Associated Press Writer
    CINCINNATI —

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is praising President Barack Obama for showing political courage on Afghanistan.

    The Georgia Republican said Wednesday that Obama’s plan to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan is the right step, and that Tuesday’s speech at West Point showed the president was facing reality.

    “If you are a liberal Democrat who won the nomination with the support of the anti-war left, this had to be one of the most difficult decisions he’ll ever make,” Gingrich said. “And he did what he felt was right for the country.

    “I think he knew when he did it he was going to split his own party, and I think that took considerable courage on his part,” he said.

    But Gingrich predicts that Obama will have trouble pulling out troops in 2011, and that there will still be U.S. troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012.

  • sinz54

    BarryS: So that GW Bush could avenge daddy’s failure.
    INCORRECT.

    Numerous conservatives (to whom you liberals attached the name “neocons”) wanted Saddam destroyed before Bush did. Kristol was pushing for it in the 1990s. As late as the 2000 campaign, Bush was not.

    In fact, during the 2000 campaign, when Bush said he was for a “humble” foreign policy that eschewed nation-building, Kristol penned a column in the Weekly Standard in which he reassured his fellow conservatives, “Don’t worry, we’ll break him of that!”

    And they did. They took Bush under their wing and introduced him to their theory: Islamists would respect us a lot more after we smashed Saddam’s regime.

    Let me give you a piece of advice: Every time a leftist likes you tries to rewrite history in classic Orwellian fashion, I appear to set the record straight. Don’t test me again.

  • balconesfault

    But Gingrich predicts that Obama will have trouble pulling out troops in 2011, and that there will still be U.S. troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2012.

    As you’ve noted already, there’s nothing in Obama’s speech that would pledge complete withdrawal of troops … or even of a significant portion of the troops … from Afghanistan prior to 2012.

    On the other hand, we would need to renegotiate our Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq in order to keep troops there (above those protecting our Vatican City-type embassy) past December 31, 2011.

    Mind you, Gates has predicted that we’ll still have 10K troops or more in Iraq past that date, so we shall see.

    The interesting question on that is – who will have the leverage in any negotiation about the December 31, 2011 date? Will Iraq have to grant concessions to the US in order to get us to keep our troops there, or will the US have to grant concessions to Iraq to be permitted to maintain troops there.

    Under the previous administration, I think the answer was obvious, and the Iraqis knew they could have asked for a huge windfall and Bush would have willingly paid it. With Obama, this won’t be so clear, and any renegotiations thus have a much better chance of being favorable to our interests.

  • balconesfault

    “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”
    GW Bush, December 2002

    Sinz — your case would have been a lot clearer had Bush not uttered that line at the same time he was trying to build support for the invasion of Iraq.

  • sinz54

    BarryS:

    The so-called neo-conservatives truly believed that Saddam, not al-Qaeda, was the biggest terrorist threat we faced. They got this bizarro idea from academics like Angelo Codevilla and Laurie Mylroie, whose theory was that ALL major terrorist attacks were state-sponsored. Hence they regarded al-Qaeda as a minor side-show. In the 1990s, Mylroie had become convinced that the first WTC bombing in 1993 had been plotted, not by Osama bin Laden, but by Saddam.

    When the Clinton Administration, the FBI and CIA all ridiculed her theory, Mylroie accused Clinton of deliberately covering up Saddam’s involvement because he was too cowardly to take on Saddam.

    Unfortunately, Mylroie found a willing audience: Men like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz bought into her theory. When Bush got elected, Perle and Wolfowitz went on to serve in the Bush Administration. And when 9-11 happened, Wolfowitz naturally assumed that once again, Saddam must have had a hand in it.

    Google for the names Laurie Mylroie and Angelo Codevilla. I’ve always said that the Iraq War wasn’t only Bush’s war; it was Laurie’s war.

  • BarryS

    “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”

    I’m sure the Iraq disaster had a number of neocons pushing their own particular angle but Bush by his own moth was the “Decider”. The buck for this debacle was his. And his reason was that he felt his Daddy had been ridiculed. The end.

  • balconesfault

    Sinz – a good description of the way the neocons worked themselves into the Bush Administration, and heavily influenced Bush’s decision that he needed to invade Iraq. I still believe that the personal vendetta aspect had something to do with it, but I would not doubt that men like Perle and Wolfowitz were whispering into Bush’s ear how taking out Saddam was warranted on many bases, using everything they could to persuade him.

    Now … given all that, does this influence in any way your core belief – that national security issues are always best left in the hands of Republicans over Democrats?

    From an overall perspective, one which I know you are able to appreciate, would we have been better off with a Democrat … or at least a Republican who didn’t have such obvious disdain for the opinions of Democrats on issues of national security himself … sitting in the Oval Office when the neocons came to make their case for the invasion of Iraq?

  • BarryS

    What peed me off most about the Iraq war was Bush and Cheney, both terminal cowards pushing a war that they knew was being presented with bogus evidence.

    Each day the British inquiry reveals and confirms the duplicity of those despicable criminals. As you can see I loathe what they did in Americas name. The blood will forever be in their hands.

  • qqlovee

    love

  • txanne

    Well I guess Mi-Goper must have special privelages here as he gets to edit out inflammatory statements in his posts, while my relatively benign response gets deleted.

    And yet I see he still gets to accuse me of rooting against my country.

    Nice going, Mr Frum.

  • balconesfault

    Oh – and Sinz – don’t feel compelled to respond to my question in 65 (obviously you’re under no obligation to). I don’t think it’s a question to be easily addressed, and you don’t have to worry about me pushing the point.

    Just something to consider.

  • balconesfault

    txanne – I don’t remember the comment or your response, but if Frum is editing the board to keep it from looking like a public crap fight when non-regulars visit, that’s not the worst impulse on his part.

  • txanne

    balconesfault- I have no problem with deleting posts, but to selectively edit out certain remarks within a post…
    And to let stand MI-Goper calling me basically, a traitor. Thats just f’d up.

  • txanne

    balconesfault, see your post # 14.

    Now do you remember?

  • balconesfault

    ahh – ok, Frum is saving GOP-er from himself, and this site from getting the label of tolerating race-baiting comments. I can see why he would want to do that. Searching the thread for “black” or “white” in only find left references to White House. Given the way people will go through blogs and try to attribute comments to the intent of the original author, or to the blogowner himself, this is a wise move.

    If I were you, I’d consider deletion of that tack to the argument as vindication for you.

  • MI-GOPer

    Balconesfault-BarryS-RioRancho et al contends: “Your arguments (more troops killed in Afghanistan under Obama’s 1st yr than the worst yr under Bush; weakness has a price for our troops?) are so specious they’re hardly worth derision”

    And they we have the best, simple reduction of why democrat activist trolls like Balconesfault comes to this blog: for the sport of cut-downs and derision of conservatives or GOPers intent on dialogue on how to rebuild the Party, movement.

    It’s why I think fake and multiple name posters like balconesfault are a pox on the blogs & discussions.

    Rbottoms, another separate troll and long time democrat activist, used to openly say he found it sporting to needle, irritate, annoy and disrupt conversation on the net… balconesfault is no different… only a tad more dishonest because he needs to use fake multiple names to post and create a dynamic that only exists in his little mind.

  • MI-GOPer

    txanne, I think that may be the difference between being here as a willing sincere discussant and working within the goals of the blog and someone like you or balconesfault-BarryS-HardlyConservative et al… insincere, flatuently disruptive to discuss, here to irritate and inflame and incite –like with the “Bush was a draft dodger” nonsense, “we invaded Iraq ’cause Bush’s daddie was threatened” nonsense, etc.

    I’m sorry that you don’t think your views and opinions are welcome. Could it be your penchant for playing the race card when you can’t make a single, reputable defense of Obama’s policy?

    Hey, they’re letting you and balconesfault cry into your beer… I think that shows how compassionate the editors are to trollish behavior.

    Now that you’ve taken another thread off-off-off topic, can we get back to the point: Obama’s speech wasn’t as bad as it sounded?

    Thanks. Want another beer? That beer glass looks full.

  • ottovbvs

    Chekote // Dec 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Otto

    “What is the point of still harping on Bush?”

    ……Because his administration is to a large extent the author of our misfortunes both domestic and foreign…….he took over a country that was in pretty good shape and ran it off the road…..much of tough policy making decisions being made by the Obama administration are aimed at either cleaning up his mess or at least ameliorating its worst consequences…….you can’t ignore the virus when deciding how you are going to treat swine flu…….and at the human level he’s brought grief to thousands of American homes quite unnecesarily……..you may think this all unimportant…..I don’t

  • ottovbvs

    balconesfault // Dec 3, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    “ahh – ok, Frum is saving GOP-er from himself, and this site from getting the label of tolerating race-baiting comments.”

    …….Is Frum bowdlerizing the pure gopher insanity?…….I can’t say I’d noticed but then I don’t read his stuff…..just see a grey mass of ranting and move on

  • BarryS

    “ahh – ok, Frum is saving GOP-er from himself, and this site from getting the label of tolerating race-baiting comments.”

    They also removed the racist remarks of their own contributor Linnane. Also removing any reference to his remarks in that or any other thread. That’s Stalin like to me.

    Your own guy makes racist remarks and it’s like it never happened. Amazing.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Dec 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    ……Sinz (and others who might be interested) there are a couple of opeds in this morning’s NYT by Brooks and the conservative British military historian Max Hastings which dissect Obama’s approach to decision making (Brooks) and the reality of the Afghanistan situation and Obama’s approach to it (Hastings)……they are both outstanding, up in the Lippman league …….Hastings is the author of several outstanding books about WW 2 and most recently an excellent one about Churchill’s wartime governance and he nails the situation in Afghanistan to perfection.

  • ottovbvs

    BarryS // Dec 4, 2009 at 9:00 am

    “They also removed the racist remarks of their own contributor Linnane. Also removing any reference to his remarks in that or any other thread. That’s Stalin like to me.

    Your own guy makes racist remarks and it’s like it never happened. Amazing.”

    ……Linnane is a total fruitcake like gopher……checking out his blog pic confirms that……it’s so grotesque as to be funny……..as for Stalinism it’s long been a feature of right wing publishing……..I seem to remember Michael Kinsley saying much the same about the oped page of the WSJ when he stopped writing for them but then extremism of right and left isn’t that different as people like Arendt, Berlin and Koestler observed long ago

  • cpanza

    I was part of that exchange alongside BarryS with Sean Linnane. Personally, I think his column here at FF damages the reputation of the site, and I’m surprised Frum continues it. IMO, his columns are not clearly written, and his replies to commentators are rude and unprofessional.

  • BarryS

    Linnane admitted in that exchange that his own blog had a racist element. Then he lamely stated that he could not remove the racist comments. You are right cpanza he does not contribute anything positive to this site, Frum should be ashamed publishing someone with his racist views.

  • ottovbvs

    80 cpanza // Dec 4, 2009 at 9:17 am

    “his columns are not clearly written, and his replies to commentators are rude and unprofessional.”

    …….well that would be because he’s a nut case who has crawled out from under a rock……but Frum has a few other odd diarists here too like the obsessional father in law………He personally is the only one who is grade A material…….the rest are kids with bad neckties or industry/think tank shills……this is potentially a good blog but he needs to invest in some real talent like Larison or other conservative writers who are both articulate and have some intellectual bottom

  • BarryS

    If Frum is editing MI-GOPers posts to make them less stupid, then he is failing. What gets through the censor is a whole shedload of stupid. Maybe he should let us see the un edited mess of non thought in all it’s glory. :-)

  • ottovbvs

    BarryS // Dec 4, 2009 at 9:30 am

    “Maybe he should let us see the un edited mess of non thought in all it’s glory. ”

    ……….the mind trembles………actually repetition has moved gopher from the merely amusing to deeply tedious……even the three stooges routines ultimately became boring

  • sinz54

    balconesfault: does this influence in any way your core belief – that national security issues are always best left in the hands of Republicans over Democrats?
    I don’t believe I said “always.”

    I think the way things turned out, it might have been better if Gore had been elected in 2000 instead of Bush. I think Gore would have invaded Afghanistan pretty much the same way as Bush did; the CIA had a plan to use the Northern Alliance to topple the Taliban even before the 2000 elections, so whoever got elected could just dust it off and put it into effect. Gore would likely have NOT invaded Iraq, so we would have been better off. I fully admit that. Unlike other conservatives, I always respected Gore’s intellect. Surprise!

    The Democratic Party has had a number of defense experts whom I respected: Sam Nunn, for example. But they don’t get to write the Dem Platform. What has bothered me is that the heart of the Dem Party is antiwar, having taken the wrong lessons from the Vietnam War. And frankly, they are uncomfortable at the very thought of America’s unique superpower role in the world.

    A Boston Globe poll of delegates to the 2004 Dem Convention (less than 3 years after 9-11) revealed that they considered terrorism to be the LEAST important issue facing America. They just didn’t care about it, even though we had been hit less than 3 years earlier.

    And among the biggest “netroots” supporters of Dems in the 2006 and 2008 elections was Moveon.org, whose founders, Tom Matzzie and Eli Pariser, are self-described pacifists. In the days immediately after 9-11. Eli Pariser opposed ANY military action to attack al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    There are just too many peaceniks all over the Dem Party for me to trust that they will defend America’s vital interests, if such a defense requires force.

    Even Obama, in his speech at West Point, had to take pains to explain why he believed that this Afghanistan War is not another Vietnam. He was clearly talking to the left-wing of his own party.

    Every time the U.S. Government considers the use of military force, the liberals in the Dem Party reflexively call it “another Vietnam.” They did that with the Gulf War too. Most of the Dems voted against the Gulf War, led by Ted Kennedy who predicted 5,000 to 10,000 KIA. They were prepared to see a sovereign member of the United Nations–Kuwait–get conquered, despite their oft-proclaimed love of the U.N.

    Notice that the biggest opposition to Obama’ surge in Afghanistan is coming, not from the GOP, but from the left-wing of his own party. In fact, here in Massachusetts where I live, most of the Dem candidates for senator (to replace Kennedy) have announced their opposition. Yet this left-wing has no other answer for how to keep America safe from terrorism. THEY JUST DON’T CARE ABOUT IT.

    The Dem Party, particularly its left-wing, has to get over its reflexive pacifism before I can trust it to keep America safe. And it has to adopt a realistic view of the way the world really works. It’s NOT a bunch of decent, honorable leaders getting together to fight common problems. That’s Star Trek, not the real world. It’s a bunch of ambitious, sometimes brutal men who grab off as much power and wealth as they can. And many of them are not afraid to use force.

    We wouldn’t be here today if a liberal–FDR–hadn’t accepted that principle. But today’s liberals are of a very different stripe.

  • MI-GOPer

    BarryS or whatever name you’re using in this thread for now, I have to admit I’ve never seen a guy spend more time trying to discredit others than you do.

    You are 100% anti-Frum, democrat activist troll 24×7 –almost as bad as Otto.

    And that the two of you echo-chamber nonsense back and forth on a blog dedicated to rebuilding the conservative movement and returning the GOP to majority status tells us all how petty and bitter your life must be outside these posts.

    You think playing from the Saul Alinsky book will win you credits or chits here? Hardly, it just underscores how pathetic it really is for all those multiple posting names you’ve played out here just toyou can suggest a dynamic of agreement with your view that doesn’t exist. Sad. Dishonest, naturally. And sad.

    We were talking about how Obama’s speech wasn’t somehow as bad as his delivery before the snoozing West Point cadets –who knew their CIC was using them as props.

    Try to stay on topic? And when you enter the echo chamber with Otto or even one of your manufactured names, remember you aren’t fooling anyone. It’s as transparent as the hairplugs on JoeBiden’s head.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Dec 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

    “I think the way things turned out, it might have been better if Gore had been elected in 2000 instead of Bush. I think Gore would have invaded Afghanistan pretty much the same way as Bush did; the CIA had a plan to use the Northern Alliance to topple the Taliban even before the 2000 elections, so whoever got elected could just dust it off and put it into effect. Gore would likely have NOT invaded Iraq, so we would have been better off. I fully admit that. Unlike other conservatives, I always respected Gore’s intellect. Surprise!”

    …..Amazement I’d say…….I actually agree with your likely scenario had Gore been elected but then it’s possible, not probable but possible, that had we had a president in the WH more focussed on the threat from Islamic fundamentalism then 9/11 might not have happened at all

    ” Notice that the biggest opposition to Obama’ surge in Afghanistan is coming, not from the GOP, but from the left-wing of his own party. ”

    ……you may not have noticed but the country is divided down the middle on this so this is not about the left wing of the Democratic party despite your constant attempts to frame it this way…..there are even some notable conservative who think we need to pull the plug

  • MI-GOPer

    txanne claims “And to let stand MI-Goper calling me basically, a traitor.”

    Wow, txanne… a few threads ago you said we were all calling you a liar. You got nailed for that ridiculous accustation and retreated back under the rocks. Now you claim you’ve been labeled a “traitor”? Really. Because I said you accepted the doubling of US troop deaths under Obama?

    I’m still trying to understand why a far Left democrat activist troll like you is posting on a blog dedicated to rebuilding the conservative movement and returning the GOP to majority status? Maybe like with balconesfault and all his multiple named fake postings, you’re here to disrupt and annoy?

    If that were the case, you wouldn’t be a traitor… just a tool. I think you’re more a conscientious objector on the War on Terror –like Obama. Try to stay on topic and out of the echo chamber, sweetie.

  • balconesfault

    Sinz – certainly there is a lot of truth in what you say … although I will point out that what you’re faulting the Democratic Party for actually incuding a debate on issues of national defense. As you note, Gore most certainly would have responded to 9/11 with an overthrow of the Taliban, perhaps one even more focussed and therefore successful on catching and eliminating Al Qaeda before they could escape the country (that is, if he were actually allowed to remain as President with a GOP majority in Congress … I have always had my suspicions that had Gore been President on 9/11/01, Articles of Impeachment would have been drafted on 9/12/01). And as you note here, President Obama has made what you consider the right call on Afghanistan. And it’s unlikely that under a President Kerry, we’d have turned into some surrender-monkey mode, despite the rantings of a MI-GOPer. And President Bill Clinton pressed our military attacks on Iraq as far as international law would permit, while steadily building a program of targeting Bin Laden in Afghanistan that did not achieve under his Presidency the terms he deemed actionable (good intelligence providing a clean shot at Bin Laden that would not kill some royalty from oil rich states) that didn’t seem to have any followup between 1/23/01 and 9/11/01.

    Frankly, I’m happy with a party that challenges the supposition that we should be ready to march to war every time the POTUS signals the clarion call. On the GOP side, the set of Congressmen who would question any military decision by a sitting Republican President consists of one – Ron Paul. I’m not excited about the POTUS having imperial powers.

  • ottovbvs

    …..Bad news for the usual suspects……the US economy shows further signs of recovery from the worst recession since the war that was created by Bush and the Republicans

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091204/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/us_economy

    ……Sorry guys…….the Deluge has been postponed

  • MI-GOPer

    AutomaticBS’er, I wish I had a nickel for everytime Obama or a WH press person has said, “it’s over, move on, nothing to see here.” Chirping those talking points sure keeps you busy, pal.

    The recession is still undercutting American families and all the Bush Bashing you can muster on this site isn’t changing that truth. 3.5% growth –a tentative number that economists now believe was mostly created by the Cash4Japs program and the modest recovery on Wall St. Of course, when we’re as far down in the pits as Obama and the Congressional Democrats have put us, it’s not hard for any fact to seem to be a wild improvement.

    Remember Obama telling us if we passed the Stimulus Spending Spree unemployment would stay under 8%?

    Remember Obama telling us that the economy was recovering in Feb while he worked to implement Bush-Cheney’s Secret Plan to save Afghanistan?

    Remember Obama telling us that we needed his Health Scare Reform plan to relieve the burden of rising health care insurance costs on business only to find out now his plan will escalate and speed-up the rising cost?

    Remember Obama telling us that “green jobs” would fix our economy and that’s why he was spending $1.4t on new green techonologies? Why we needed Cap & Trade taxes? To jumpstart green jobs!

    Just yesterady, Obama held a Jobs Summit and who do you think was missing at the table? The US Chamber, AManufAssn, NFIB –three groups who represent over 185m employers in America. Some job conference, eh? Who was there? Labor. ACORN. BigPharm. The head of the Trial Lawyers! Any business CEO who wants to sleep in Lincoln’s Bedroom. Wow, talk about the “right” people.

    Home foreclosures still at a record breaking pace.

    Business bankruptcies and insolvencies unbated.

    Bankruptcies now spreading to public govt enterprises like state govts, schools, hospitals and cities.

    Economists estimate the real unemployment is closer to 18.7%, not the Obama-rosie 10.2%.

    National deficit now passing $12.1 trillion as I type.

    Our natl trade deficit at $36.8 billion as I type.

    Otto, will it really take people jumping off bridges and killing themselves before democrat activists like you realize Americans are still hurting and just wishing the economic news away won’t ease their pain?

    It is so callously partisan of you and your pals. Life in the cheap seats for you guys must be nice once you check your conscience at the door. I can’t join you in the peanut gallery, otto.

    Too many Americans still are hurting to take much solace in a yahoo news story from a pro-democrat website. You can. You need the reassurance that Obama isn’t just Carter’s 2nd Term. You need to forget the stunning defeats in VA and NJ. You need to look elsewhere and away from 2010.

    I still feel for my fellow Americans… I can’t join you in your false cheer and bravado when Americans still weep in the dark hours of the night fretting over losing their homes, their jobs, their savings and now, because of Obama’s Spending Spree, they can’t even promise a better tomorrow to their kids.

  • balconesfault

    MI-GOPer Remember Obama telling us if we passed the Stimulus Spending Spree unemployment would stay under 8%?

    I don’t remember that – and it would have been an odd claim, when February 2009 saw the unemployment rate reach 8.1%, and the stimulus bill was only signed in the middle of that month … and was on a trajectory that had seen it rise by at least 0.4% each of the previous 5 months in a row.

    What you’re referring to is not a declaration by Obama, but an economic report called “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, the vice president’s top economic adviser, published Jan 9, 2009. The problem was that their baseline, along with the baseline of the CBO, was too low – they projected an unemployment peak of about 9% in 2010. Instead, we blew through that number by May 2009, before any part of the stimulus bill except for some of the tax cuts had really gone into effect.

    Refusal to admit that the Iraq War was a mistake has seriously damaged the Republican brand with many independent voters. Refusal to accept that the stimulus bill is going to be viewed by late next year as a major contributor to reversing the jobs collapse is going to be a second blow. It is so difficult to sell ideology when the reality people see in front of them suggests the ideology is badly flawed.

  • balconesfault

    National deficit now passing $12.1 trillion as I type.

    Ahh – the combination of blustering certitude and economic ignorance that makes MI-GOPer that special person he is …

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Sinz wrote: “Every time the U.S. Government considers the use of military force, the liberals in the Dem Party reflexively call it “another Vietnam.” They did that with the Gulf War too.”

    Other than the individuals you named, none of which are congressmen or policymakers, I’m not sure who these liberals are who wield such power in the Democratic party.

    Moreover, the comparisons to Vietnam are not reflexive. They are based on features of that conflict that have also been present in subsequent conflicts (no clear and substantial U.S. interest at stake, no objectively measured goal, no defined exit strategy, lukewarm public support, etc.). These features by themselves do not mean these subsequent conflicts are another Vietnam, but they do mean that extra caution and analysis are required before going to war.

    With respect to the Gulf War, that very well could have turned into another Vietnam had Bush I not exercised the wisdom that he did both leading up to the war, during its conduct and in the aftermath. Bush II showed just how easy it is to screw up a war and waste trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives and over a hundred thousand foreign civilian lives.

    Lastly, if either side is guilty of reflexively characterizing all military conflicts, it is the Right, who seem to reflexively compare every conflict to WWII despite that fact that none of our conflicts since then have had any of the significant features of that war. This is quite ironic given the Right’s posture leading up to WWII.

  • sinz54

    balconesfault:

    It’s been said that two events defined the entire debate about foreign policy in the post WW2 era: One was Munich and the other was Korea (later replaced by Vietnam).

    There were many, conservatives but also quite a few liberal hawks like Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who considered any unilateral concessions to the Soviets to be the equivalent of the Munich accord that Chamberlain signed in 1938.

    And then there are the doves, who consider any firmness in U.S. foreign policy likely to lead to military intervention, and then inevitably (they claim) to “another Vietnam.”

    So hawks are always afraid of another Munich, and doves are always afraid of another Vietnam.

    And that has continued even after the Cold War ended.