Appointments

I like Barney Frank a lot but I’d rather have Deval Patrick nominate a Democrat who will start campaigning the second they’re nominated and not quit until they beat Scott Brown. Barney’s not that guy, and if you need more proof that the Massachusetts Senate seat is not a gimme, remember that a top-notch candidate, Warren, spent $40+ million to beat Brown in a nasty race, and that a mediocre candidate lost to him. Do any of you Massachusetts residents have a suggestion for someone who can beat Brown?

I also don’t care if Obama nominates Chuck Hagel, Michele Flournoy or a trained circus dog for Secretary of Defense as long as whomever he nominates is on board with major defense cuts, and will advocate for them. But that’s not going to happen so I guess the best we can get is either a Republican who isn’t going to completely genuflect before Israel (Hagel) or a hawk with a D after her name (Flournoy). I sure don’t see the point in Obama or anyone else expending energy to defend or support Hagel. Yeah, it’s maddening that he’s getting mau-maued for treating Israel like something other than our 51st and most important state, but it’s not like the guy is going to be a radical Progressive change agent in the Pentagon.

(BTW, here’s a bit about Flournoy:

Michelle Flournoy, the former under secretary of Defense who is also a leading candidate to replace the soon-to-depart Leon Panetta, is also somewhat haunted by the ghosts of Vietnam, by her own account, but in a very different way than Hagel. Though far too young (she turned 52 on Friday) to have served there with the 66-year-old Hagel, Flournoy warned in a speech this week that military planners might still be too “risk-averse” because of the Vietnam experience. She said the military was endangered by a new “Vietnam syndrome” in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

)

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

159 replies
  1. 1
    TR says:

    No, I’d love to see a Hagel nomination. Let’s have a public conversation between a sane Republican who was right about Iraq and all his former colleagues who blew it.

  2. 2
    WarMunchkin says:

    @TR: Why is Hagel said to be right about Iraq? He may have criticized the administration years later, but he voted to invade:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....101002.htm

    (Nebraska)

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    And I’d like to see a strongly re-elected Democratic president nominating actual Democrats for his key cabinet posts.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    Is it Hegel or Hagel?

  5. 5
    The Dangerman says:

    How about an FU to the Tea Party and Lugar for Defense? First cup of coffee, so be kind if missing something.

  6. 6
    Count Ulster says:

    2010, the year Brown beat Coakley, was the Tea Party wave election, so he cannot expect a repeat of that kind of momentum. Brown may have name recognition, but he was exposed as a total dick this election cycle and ended up losing by more than seven points. This seat is not a “gimme,” perhaps. But it’s not Brown’s race to lose either. I would think Markey deserves a look, but I understand he hasn’t polled well. Is he disliked in the western part of the state for some reason, or is it a name-recognition thing? He’d be a reliable choice for the upper chamber. Don’t know Mass politics as well as I would like.

  7. 7
    Paul says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    Why is Hagel said to be right about Iraq? He may have criticized the administration years later, but he voted to invade:

    He was wrong about Iraq. Just like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were wrong about Iraq. But unlike just about any Republican today, he is open-minded enough to realize that he was wrong. I think Hagel would be a fine choice.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Dangerman: How about an FU to Republicans and a Democrat for Defense?

    Please list all the Democratic Secs Def nominated by Republican presidents.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    I understand the principle of not “fighting the last war,” but there’s also the axiom about learning from your mistakes, right? I think anyone who ISN’T gun-shy about getting embroiled in another long-term occupation a la Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t qualified for the fucking job.

  10. 10
    the Conster says:

    As a Mass. resident, I’d be surprised to see Brown run again so soon – he was exposed. He lost by 8%, and shortly after the election I was watching a local news roundtable and one of the news insiders mentioned that his wife, Gail Huff, who was a local beloved TV news reporter herself, shook her head “no” vehemently when someone asked her husband if he’d consider running for Governor or a state wide office again. He won’t run if she isn’t behind him, because she’s the brains of the outfit.

    I have a soft spot for Mike Capuano, but I’d really, really love to see Jarrett Barrios run. Gay, handsome, Latino, wicked smaht, extremely liberal and campaigns like he’s having the most fun there is to be had.

  11. 11
    mistermix says:

    @cathyx: Hagel – I fixed it.

  12. 12
    Huh? says:

    She said the military was endangered by a new “Vietnam syndrome” in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What exactly does this sentence mean? Near as I can parse it there are two possibilities:

    1) Iraq and Afghanistan were costly, so as a result leaders are not eager to learn the lessons from those conflicts. (Makes no sense)

    2) Iraq and Afghanistan were costly, so as a result leaders will want to avoid wars like that in the future (makes a lot of sense, but apparently not to Flournoy).

    Or is there some other meaning?

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Huh?: “Lessons” doesn’t make a lot of sense in context. But if it were “benefits” or “advantages,” that would make sense. Not _good_ sense, but some sense.

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It doesn’t matter if Brown wins. Vote 51 matters — 50 with the VP. Vote 60 matters, under the present filibuster regime. Brown would be neither. Isn’t the seat up again in ’14?

  15. 15
    eric says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think the rationale is the ole “Nixon went to China” and “Clinton slashed welfare” axioms. If you are gonna cut defense, it cant be a dem and certainly cant be a liberal dem. Now, if there are real cuts to defense and weapons systems, sign me up for Secretary of Defense Turgidson.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    After voting for the Iraq war, Hagel did come out against it later. That is a plus, but not medal worthy. I read a report a few years ago that claimed Chuck Hagel was one of the hardest senators to work for, and treated his staff like shit. And my vote goes to no, because he is stingy motherfucker and doesn’t care about the poor, even a little. That doesn’t have a lot to do with being secdef, but goes a long way with me for general character.

    Pick a fucking democrat, O.

  17. 17
    Hal says:

    Scott Brown won a special election in a year when the tea party ran rampant in American politics, but, he won against a universally acknowledged shitty candidate who took a vacation and hardly put any effort into the race.

    He lost two years later to a virtual unknown, unless you watch MSNBC or listen to Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He lost having been propped up by Wall Street. Brown was a fluke so I just can’t figure out all this quaking in the boots over him. I’m not saying he isn’t competitive, but a good Democrat can beat Brown. Now MA just needs to find him or her.

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    Pick a fucking democrat, O.

    Yup. These assholes, even the “moderates” have done everything in their power to tank the country and fuck everything up. Fuck them. Destroy them. They deserve nothing less.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @eric: I will be elected Pope before there are meaningful cuts in “defense” appropriations.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    __

    She said the military was endangered by a new “Vietnam syndrome” in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history boldly vow to refuse to learn them.

    Also, I thought George H. W. Bush proudly screeched to have done that whole Vietnam Syndrome defeat earlier.

    On Feb. 28, 1991, just hours after the fighting stopped, Bush gave the public a fleeting glimpse of his secret agenda when he celebrated the ground war victory by blurting out the seemingly incongruous declaration, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all.”

  21. 21
    the Conster says:

    @Hal:

    I also have to keep reminding people that the election happened just a few weeks after the third Democratic House Speaker in a row was indicted for corruption, and after Democratic State Senator Dianne Wilkerson was caught stuffing cash into her bra. The whole special election of Brown on a cold snowy mid January Tuesday was a perfect storm of backlash locally and nationally. He also never debated Coakley, so all everyone ever saw of him was him being a regular truck driving cute underdog who was working hard to get every vote, while Coakley was MIA. Voters like to be wooed, and women liked Brown, a lot. His sneering condescension debate performance fixed that for good.

  22. 22
    John says:

    Warren will be a great senator, I hope, but a Harvard professor who has never held elective office and is not a particularly natural campaigner is not a “top-notch candidate.”

  23. 23
    JasonF says:

    I want the Democrat who is going to win the special election to start campaigning immediately. I don’t know that it would be most effective for that person to campaign from the Senate floor.

    A Senate appointee running for the special election would have several disadvantages. The primary one is the amount of time that person will need to spend in Washington rather than Massachusetts, but there is also the potential backlash to a perception that Governor Patrick and the party elites are trying to do an end-run around the electorate.

    Do those counterbalance the advantage of incumbency, particularly a short incumbency? I don’t know, but it’s plausible that they might. So while I don’t dismiss the idea of appointing a potential long-term Senator rather than a placeholder, I don’t think it’s a no-brainer that it’s the right long-term strategy.

  24. 24
    KG says:

    Obama has to nominate a Republican because he has been the most partisan president in American history, Hugh Hewitt told me so. Of course, Hagel is just a RINO anyway, so it’s not like this would improve Obama’s bipartisan credentials or anything.

    How, exactly, Hagel became a RINO is a bit of a mystery. Much like how Obama has become the most partisan president ever, actually.

    Personally, I don’t care much about party ID. But then I’m an independent now. Pick the best person for the job and if the GOP doesn’t like them, let the GOP continue to make fools of themselves… and run those constant clips of “up or down votes” from the Bush Administration about judicial nominees and ask what is so different.

  25. 25
    eric says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I do not disagree with you at all; but, that is conventional so-called wisdom, as it gets presented in the organs of centrist propaganda.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    Whoa whoa WHOA…..A chick as SecDef? Exploding teatard craniums eleventy seconds after that announcy. Good lord will Limbaugh lose his fuckin mind….

  27. 27
    John says:

    Also, why does everyone think Scott Brown is going to automatically just take two opportunities to humiliate himself. He just lost, and if he runs he faces two very real, very embarrassing possibilities – one, losing a second senate election less than a year after losing the first one; two, winning the election, only to lose it again a year and a half later, to become a two time half term senator.

    Why do we assume he’d want to risk that? And why would we assume that a man who was rather comfortably defeated by a political neophyte is a political colossus who is nearly impossible to beat?

    Martha Coakley ran a terrible campaign at pretty much the lowest moment for both the national and Massachusetts Democratic Parties – and she still came closer to winning in 2010 than Scott Brown did this time around. Scott Brown is obviously a pretty good politician, but nonetheless he ought to lose to any basically competent Democrat.

  28. 28
    JBerardi says:

    and if you need more proof that the Massachusetts Senate seat is not a gimme, remember that a top-notch candidate, Warren, spent $40+ million to beat Brown in a nasty race, and that a mediocre candidate lost to him.

    By that definition of mediocre, the Titanic’s maiden voyage was a rather mediocre experience…

  29. 29
    max says:

    I like Barney Frank a lot but I’d rather have Deval Patrick nominate a Democrat who will start campaigning the second they’re nominated and not quit until they beat Scott Brown.

    Seconded.

    But that’s not going to happen so I guess the best we can get is either a Republican who isn’t going to completely genuflect before Israel (Hagel) or a hawk with a D after her name (Flournoy).

    Is Hagel going to not genuflect before Israel? It strikes me they just want an R at Defense for some reason of credibility (a dubious assertion). The WH seems to think it is still 1997. (Would that it were.)

    I don’t see how they get Defense cuts through the house. And really, if we don’t cut anywhere else either, then that’s fine.

    Hal: Brown was a fluke so I just can’t figure out all this quaking in the boots over him.

    He’s a fluke with a track record of winning. It may be that the 2014 elections won’t be a pro-R wave, but it doesn’t do to assume that it won’t be. Certainly the R’s will have some advantage going in. Meanwhile, I’m still not sure why Kerry is at State (why not DoD? I could’ve gotten behind that), so a solid seat is once again at risk, and I don’t see any reason to take *pointless* risks. Particularly when no one on our side of the aisle wants to take *useful* risks.

    Ergo, pick a candidate that wants to run in 2014 and go with them. Don’t give the R’s any slack whatsoever.

    max
    [‘Hound them to Hell’s door, in fact.’]

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    Enough with the Republican secretary of Defenses. Democrats have proved they are better at defense, let’s have some confidence.

  31. 31
    tofubo says:

    http://www.newamericancentury......050128.htm

    next candidate please (re sec def, not sen mas)

  32. 32
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Patrick selected the last appointee on the condition that they not run for the open seat… I don’t know if that is still in play but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max: The interim candidate will only be in office until a special election this spring.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    Keeping that Senate seat seems more important than having John Kerry at State, but that’s sour (worried) grapes from me.

    I don’t know if the White House thought a Senate race might spur interest in Massachusetts and give them a leg up on campaigning in 2014 midterms. You’ll have elections in MA, NJ and VA next year.

    Hagel would be fine at Defense, but why can’t they find a confirmable Democrat?

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @tofubo: She co-signed with Kristol and Frank Fucking Gaffney? That’s a real eye-opener, thanks.

  36. 36
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    As an update found Patrick being quoted as “I expect to do the same thing I did last time”, so the interim Senator will not be campaigning for the special election… which is why Barney Frank is a good choice for it.

  37. 37
    BobbyThomson says:

    @max: Kerry’s a better fit for State than Defense. Multilingual, respected by other countries. Plus we don’t get a replay of the Swift Boat Liars and purple band aids.

  38. 38
    Fair Economist says:

    I see a lot of claims that Brown won only because of the Tea Party wave or the lousy campaign by Coakley. That may well have been true in 2010, but at the present Brown handily defeats all opposition, even after the debates with Warren. His wife’s dislike for campaigning might discourage him, but power is addicting and I think he’s very likely to go for such a good shot at a cushy position.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @max:

    He’s a fluke with a track record of winning

    A .500 record is not ‘a track record of winning’…

  40. 40
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Please list all the Democratic Secs Def nominated by Republican presidents

    Well, Lincoln did appoint former Democrat Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War after Cameron washed out. That was only a little under 150 years ago, so it still counts, right?

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    Ezra Klein, sitting in for Rachel Maddow, mentioned three top candidates for Defense: Hagel, Flournoy, and acting Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He originally served during the Clinton Administration, has a doctorate in theoretical physics, and appears to have focused on WMD and reducing nukes.

    Carter managed the multi-billion dollar Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to support elimination of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of the former Soviet Union, including the secret removal of 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from Kazakhstan in the operation code-named Project Sapphire. He also directed the Nuclear Posture Review and oversaw the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Counterproliferation Initiative. He directed the reform of DOD’s national security export controls. His arms control responsibilities included the Agreed Framework which froze North Korea’s plutonium producing nuclear reactor program, the extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and matters involving the START II, ABM, CFE, and other arms control treaties.

    Seems like Obama here has a number of good choices. I look forward to the inevitable GOP obstructionism. The Maddow show featured clips of Lindsay Graham and other GOP goobers wailing how Hagel was far to the left of Obama.

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @tofubo:

    … you, and the litmus test you rode in on.

  43. 43
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Umm, did you read the letter, or just skip to the bottom and assume you knew what it said based on the identity of the signers?

    In 2005, the idea that we were under-resourced for fighting two major ground wars at the same time was subscribed to by a lot of thoughtful people.

    It’s now almost 2013. Only stupidity or knee-jerk bias would cause anyone to think that Flournoy would treat different situations as though they are not different.

    Which is it?

  44. 44
    Mike Lamb says:

    Hagel would likely have no shot at confirmation. GOP is already pre-emptively putting the kibosh on Hagel. Graham released a statement saying that he likes “Chuck”, but that he (Graham) is only now learning about all of Hagel’s positions, and that they are to the left of Obama. Ergo, he wouldn’t get much Republican support.

    There are also attack ads stating that Hagel isn’t a responsible choice for the post. I’ve never seen that before.

  45. 45
    AA+ Bonds says:

    She said the military was endangered by a new “Vietnam syndrome” in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That’s pretty dumb because the top lesson is not to force yourself into counterinsurgency if at all possible . . . and all the lessons after that will be applied with gusto if/when they are truly necessary. But you can’t count on the military-industrial complex to come up with reasons it’s not needed . . .

    I mean, that’s what “Vietnam syndrome” means. It means, “you only think that it has ever been a bad idea for America to invade somewhere.”

  46. 46
    Skippy-san says:

    Flournoy is a hack, certainly not qualified to be SECDEF. For one thing she doesn’t have any military experience, which as far as I am concerned is a prerequisite.

    Hagel is a much, much better pick.

  47. 47
    handsmile says:

    As highly qualified as Flournoy might be (Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is the Pentagon’s third highest civilian position and her defense/security bona fides are impeccable by Village standards), a “trained circus dog” is more likely to be nominated as Secretary of Defense.

    Punchy’s comment above (#26) sarcastically but accurately points to the insurmountable obstacle to Flournoy’s candidacy, most especially at a time when at least modest cuts to a bloated Pentagon budget would seem to be a real possibility. He is wrong only to imagine that it would be the crania of teatardists alone exploding.

    Before resigning last February, Flournoy was the highest ranking woman in Pentagon history. Much as I might find inspiring another gender barrier being shattered, I don’t believe this nomination battle is where Obama will choose to expend his much-demanded capital.

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Please list all the Democratic Secs Def nominated by Republican presidents.

    And, at the end of the day, a Democratic SecDef would be different from a Republican one how? Defense isn’t getting any significant cuts anytime soon.

  49. 49
    JasonF says:

    President Obama could do a lot worse than to force the Republicans to kill the nomination of a two-term Republican Senator with a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union and consistent A and B grades from the National Taxpayers Union.

  50. 50
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    he (Graham) is only now learning about all of Hagel’s positions, and that they are to the left of Obama.

    I suppose that’s what any critical thinking applied to Middle East policy gets called in this country, a bunch of radical leftism.

  51. 51
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    I really don’t know if Hagel is the best choice and I’d prefer to see a Dem nominated. But the reality is that GOP will pull out all the stops to block whoever Obama nominates regardless and I’m wondering if the spectacle of Republicans in the Senate trashing one of their own might finally get our news media to start reporting on GOP obstruction.

    The single biggest political story of the last 4 years which has gone completely unreported in the mainstream press and which as a result most people are not aware of is that one of our two major political parties has gone all in on obstruction, sabotage and sedition, and is actively trying to undermine and destroy our own government. If this is the story which finally starts bringing it to the light of public scrutiny, I’d say that would be worth it even if Hagel is an otherwise suboptimal pick.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I am not in favor of Hagel. He is a sane, but very conservative, Republican. I think a Democrat should generally be the default appointment to anything in a Democratic administration.

  53. 53
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, um, like the part in the letter where they say

    Yet after almost two years in Iraq and almost three years in Afghanistan, it should be evident that our engagement in the greater Middle East is truly, in Condoleezza Rice’s term, a “generational commitment.”

    I knw things are faster in the Internet age, but what’s a generation now mean, six or seven years?

    It’s not like she subscribed to those views back in college.

  54. 54
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    “you only think that it has ever been a bad idea for America to invade somewhere.”

    No need to think cuz, “We’ve always been at war with EastAsia”

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @JasonF: Trolling. It’s not just for blog comments anymore. (not you, Obama…)

  56. 56
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @JasonF:

    a two-term Republican Senator with a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union and consistent A and B grades from the National Taxpayers Union.

    I don’t think that record would do any good for the Democrats or any ill for the Republicans. The Republicans know more than enough about antisemitism to paint someone with that brush. As you can see, even mildly criticizing our policy toward Israel invites such accusations from both sides of the aisle, and once someone is tarred it’s a real bitch to get the feathers off.

  57. 57
    geg6 says:

    Fournoy is most definitely not my kind of Democrat. Sorry but she’s a hawk and I’m more than a little disenchanted with hawks.

    Hagel isn’t my first choice either. But I do like his take on Israel. Which means he’ll never get the nomination. I say go with the guy who’s acting sec def now. Can’t remember his name, but I think he is nuclear proliferation guy. I can get down with that.

  58. 58
    Mike Lamb says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: If the GOP is the nihilists that they appear to be, then I really don’t know that media reporting about about their obstructionism will matter. Yes, maybe it flips some seats in ’14, but a lot of policy making/legislating needs to happen between now and then.

  59. 59
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Hey, it’s true: the cure usually prescribed for Vietnam syndrome by armchair physicians is war, immediate and endless.

  60. 60
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Based on the Republican pushback, and the lukewarm response to Hagel at BJ, I would say he doesn’t have a chance. Personally, I think he’s more of a Lincoln Republican, and would be fine as sec def.

  61. 61
    SatanicPanic says:

    @The Dangerman:

    a Democratic SecDef would be different from a Republican one how?

    For one, the Democrats could start making an affirmative case for their skill at defense, instead of having to pretend that Republicans are so much better. Even when it’s clear to everyone outside of DC that they aren’t.

  62. 62
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    We must keep the military industrial complex healthy with massive cash infusions cuz, it’s the only edge the US has, these days.

  63. 63
    muddy says:

    Maybe Obama should ask Victor Davis Hanson, he knows a lot about the Western Way of War. I don’t think the hoplite idea is worn out yet. Surely he would be an even-handed advisor.

    I was disappointed by the cruise article, the cruise often advertises that VDH will be there, surely he would have made the foreign policy talks come alive, his ideas are very fresh.

  64. 64
    AA+ Bonds says:

    For one, the Democrats could start making an affirmative case for their skill at defense, instead of having to pretend that Republicans are so much better. Even when it’s clear to everyone outside of DC that they aren’t

    IMO 2012 showed they’ve already made that case.

  65. 65
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @geg6:

    . But I do like his take on Israel. Which means he’ll never get the nomination.

    That is, the lynch-pin.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Skippy-san: Hack or hawk?

    I don’t see why a SecDef needs to have served in the military.

  67. 67
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    I really don’t know that media reporting about about their obstructionism will matter

    I feel the opposite. I think that the GOP obstructionism in the Senate (the House is a different beast) has been much more extreme because they have every confidence our news media will not report on it. Throw on the light switch and they’ll run for a dark corner like the cockroaches that they are.

  68. 68
    Bostondreams says:

    @max:

    The election wouldn’t be in 2014. I am not sure exactly how long, but Mass law requires a special election within a few months. So the election would happen quickly.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    On Feb. 28, 1991, just hours after the fighting stopped, Bush gave the public a fleeting glimpse of his secret agenda when he celebrated the ground war victory by blurting out the seemingly incongruous declaration, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all.”

    And then his cowardly deserting spawn, who did everything he could to avoid serving in his generation’s war, proceeded to take that case of amnesia and create a new syndrome almost identical to the first.

    Fuck him, and fuck the vile shitstain he sired.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This. Plus, I do have a problem with anyone signing a PNAC letter in 2000-and-fucking-5, even if it was a Toys for Tots drive memo. We knew those lying scumbags scammed us into a pointless, bloody war in 2005. Why give those assholes an imprimatur of respectability?

  71. 71
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @muddy:

    Maybe Obama should ask Victor Davis Hanson, he knows a lot about the Western Way of War.

    I wondered why Hanson didn’t come up in the election more often; he’s one of many originators of the “entitlement democracy” idea (also known as the 47% screw up).

  72. 72
    cmorenc says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It doesn’t matter if Brown wins. Vote 51 matters — 50 with the VP. Vote 60 matters, under the present filibuster regime. Brown would be neither. Isn’t the seat up again in ’14?

    It sure as Hell does matter which party’s Senator occupies that seat; any incumbent starts with a significant advantage in 2014. Brown would have been formidably difficult to beat in 2012 had the dems not been able to come up with someone who proved to be an even more formidable candidate in Warren, who was capable of flushing out Brown’s dickishness for the Mass voters to see in a way a mediocre candidate like Coakley was not.

  73. 73
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    proceeded to take that case of amnesia and create a new syndrome almost identical to the first

    That’s always what happens. Lebanon, for instance. You can only “kick” a fake war-shy “syndrome” by entering a Vietnam-like war of choice and somehow “winning” without annihilating all the civilians. Can’t be done.

    “Vietnam syndrome” is what stupid people call prudence.

  74. 74
    cmorenc says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The single biggest political story of the last 4 years which has gone completely unreported in the mainstream press and which as a result most people are not aware of is that one of our two major political parties has gone all in on obstruction, sabotage and sedition, and is actively trying to undermine and destroy our own government. If this is the story which finally starts bringing it to the light of public scrutiny, I’d say that would be worth it even if Hagel is an otherwise suboptimal pick.

    THIS.

  75. 75
    muddy says:

    @AA+ Bonds: He used to be a Democrat, maybe they were afraid his past would come back to haunt them.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    “Vietnam syndrome” is what stupid people call prudence.

    It also demonstrates, yet again, how our modern “conservatives” are anything BUT conservative.

  77. 77
    Jay says:

    “I’d rather have Deval Patrick nominate a Democrat who will start campaigning the second they’re nominated and not quit until they beat Scott Brown.”

    Setti Warren, maybe? Not saying he wouldn’t have a real fight against Brown (or Bill Weld, whom the GOP is said to be talking to about coming back), but I think he’d ultimately win with help from POTUS and E Dub.

    A bit on S. Warren-Progressive mayor (Newton), military record, former Kerry aide, exited the Dem. Senate primary last time around.

    Also, on SecDef, does anyone know why Jim Webb wasn’t looked at? I think his personal relationship with POTUS may have started to deteriorate after Webb blasted him publicly for not, in Webb’s opinion, selling the ACA aggressively enough (“Obama lost alot of credibility as a leader,” he said), but if POTUS wants someone who can argue against war, heavens, Webb opposed Iraq from jump, unlike Hagel. Finally, Webb’s a wonk who gets into the details of just about everything, so the intellectual aspect’s covered, and like Hagel, he’s enough of a hothead to let some of the bigger – egoed folks in the military know the administration is not effing around.

  78. 78
    patrick II says:

    What are Deval Patrick s plans for 2014. He will be ending his governorship in 2014. Frank now and Patrick in 2014?

  79. 79
    MaxxLange says:

    “Vietnam Syndrome” = don’t get into bad wars? What is the problem here?

  80. 80
    Ted & Hellen says:

    To review: The voters of Massachusetts select John Kerry, a long term and fairly powerful senator, to represent them in congress.

    Obama and Kerry, in their village arrogance, decide to tell the voters of Mass. to fuck off and move Kerry to state; simultaneously potentially handing the senate seat to the republicans because, you know, it’s not like we need the strongest possible Dem majority in the Senate or anything.

    But this is all ok and taken in stride because…OBOT or something.

  81. 81
    👽 Martin says:

    How about we nominate Maddow? To either position…

  82. 82
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Oh look, it’s the pedophile apologist come to opine! Why don’t you tell us more about how a 12 y/o might like getting raped?

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    There’s a fire somewhere with your name on it. Go find it and die in it.

  84. 84
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ted & Hellen: It is totally rude of Kerry to make his own decisions about his own career. What a jerk.

  85. 85
    eemom says:

    @Jay:

    Also, on SecDef, does anyone know why Jim Webb wasn’t looked at? I think his personal relationship with POTUS may have started to deteriorate after Webb blasted him publicly for not, in Webb’s opinion, selling the ACA aggressively enough (“Obama lost alot of credibility as a leader,” he said)

    I think you have that backwards. IIRC Webb blasted Obama publicly stabbed him in the back by dissing him for pushing ACA AT ALL — and did so at the worst possible time, after the SCt argument last year when all the drama queens assumed the thing was doomed.

    Fuck Webb, after that — and I was a staunch supporter from 2006.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: So, no elected official should ever resign his/her office for any reason? Being voted into office means you are obligated the stay in office for the entirety of your term no matter what circumstances intervene? Or is this just another chance to take a random shot at Obama, with whom you seem to have a rather unhealthy obsession?

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: I know. How dare he not take into account Tedrapeshellen’s supreme opinion of puririgtheousness.

  88. 88
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True liberal senators put everything from the names of their children to their fantasy football picks up to a vote.

  89. 89
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Or is this just another chance to take a random shot at Obama,

    He’s always had a problem with the nig(clang) black guy. Of course that’s his reasoning.

  90. 90
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    So it’s your belief that a politician owes no obligation to his constituents to serve out the term for which he or she campaigned and to which they elected him?

    Good to know and why am I not surprised?

    Also too: It is hilarious to see the faithful Bots swarm as soon as a commenter dissents from the comfortable Village ambiance here. :D

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I’m sorry. Again I can’t hear you over the sound of your defense of raping a child. Why don’t you talk about that some more?

  92. 92
    Paul says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    To review: The voters of Massachusetts select John Kerry, a long term and fairly powerful senator, to represent them in congress. Obama and Kerry, in their village arrogance, decide to tell the voters of Mass. to fuck off and move Kerry to state; simultaneously potentially handing the senate seat to the republicans because, you know, it’s not like we need the strongest possible Dem majority in the Senate or anything. But this is all ok and taken in stride because…OBOT or something.

    And there you have if folks; according to Ted & Hellen, no current Congress person can EVER be appointed to anything. Heck, no current Congress person can EVER run for higher office.

    John McCain and Sarah Palin – Shame on you for running for higher office before when you already had elected offices that you were holding.

    President Obama and Hillary Clinton – shame on both of you for running for higher office when you already had elected offices that you were holding.

    Goodness…

  93. 93
    Paul says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    So it’s your belief that a politician owes no obligation to his constituents to serve out the term for which he or she campaigned and to which they elected him?

    According to that logic, President Obama would not be our President. And that’s what you really wanted, isn’t it – get the non-white guy out of there…

  94. 94
    Cassidy says:

    And there you have if folks; according to TedrapesHellen, no current Congress person can EVER be appointed to anything. Heck, no current Congress person can EVER run for higher office. damn, dirty darkie can do anything right and I will constantly go out of my way to insult him and hold him to a much higher standard than anyoine else.

    Seems more true to me.

  95. 95
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And I’d like to see a strongly re-elected Democratic president nominating actual Democrats for his key cabinet posts.

    And fighting to get them approved.

    @Ted & Hellen:

    …it’s not like we need the strongest possible Dem majority in the Senate or anything.

    In 2014, the Senate Dems are going to once again face a very difficult task to hold onto the majority. Unnecessarily removing a sitting senator is not exactly the best way to accomplish that. Every seat matters. (Maybe even Joe Manchin’s seat.)

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Dude, there has been disagreement with the Kerry appointment on a number of earlier threads. It has, however, happened. Now, there is discussion and disagreement over how the seat should be filled and also who should be SecDef. Do try to keep up.

  97. 97
    Triassic Sands says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I’m wondering if the spectacle of Republicans in the Senate trashing one of their own might finally get our news media to start reporting on GOP obstruction.

    You make a good point, but it’s probably hopeless — today’s MSM are likely irreparable.

  98. 98
    catclub says:

    @Skippy-san: No military experience, unlike Dick ‘Five Deferments’ Cheney?

  99. 99
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Bostondreams:

    I imagine I’ve already been ninja’d, but the special election is in June. However, it is to pick the replacement for the remainder of Kerry’s term, which ends in 2014.

  100. 100
    srv says:

    I say we drop Flournoy into Afghanistan outside of a FOB for a month and then she can preach about avoiding lessons.

  101. 101
    askew says:

    I’d like to see a president who was re-elected due to women, minorities and youth voters appoint a woman, minority or a young person to some of these appointments. With Kerry replacing Clinton and Lisa Jackson likely replaced by a white man, we are looking at a less diverse cabinet than Obama’s first term. The cabinet may even be less diverse than W and Clinton’s cabinets. How embarrassing.

  102. 102
    JasonF says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The single biggest political story of the last 4 years which has gone completely unreported in the mainstream press and which as a result most people are not aware of is that one of our two major political parties has gone all in on obstruction, sabotage and sedition, and is actively trying to undermine and destroy our own government. If this is the story which finally starts bringing it to the light of public scrutiny, I’d say that would be worth it even if Hagel is an otherwise suboptimal pick.

    To this I would add the following: in light of the gerrymandering that occurred in 2010, the Democrats’ best chance of retaking the House is for the Republican brand to be so toxic that no reasonable person would possibly vote for a Republican. Thankfully, the Republican Party seems to be doing its level best to cooperate with this strategy, but the reality is that the Democrats need to take every opportunity they can to remind the general public that the Republicans are, in fact, crazy. Having them torpedo the SecDef nomination of one of their own Senators, a man who they chose to seat as one of their representatives on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just a few years ago, is an outstanding way to remind everyone of that fact.

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @Huh?:

    I thought “Vietnam Syndrome” meant “some people actually thinking out loud that the security state and the wars it carried out might not be inherently Crowning Moments of Righteousness, and some politicians actually paying attention to them.”

  104. 104
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @patrick II: Patrick’s next move is to make some money. He has kids, and the governor of the Commonwealth makes $140,000 a year.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Timmeh’s specialty is continuing to whine about things that were done deals months or years ago.

  106. 106
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @cmorenc: Warren is not, was not, a ‘formidable candidate’. A winning candidate, yes.

  107. 107
    Citizen_X says:

    She said the military was endangered by a new “Vietnam syndrome” in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    GEE, YA THINK?

    “Ouch, fire hot. Why not stick hand in flame again?”

  108. 108
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Dangerman: Dick Lugar could have switched over to Dem & still be a Senator. Fuck him.

  109. 109
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Chris:

    The Vietnam Syndrome referred to people who were so cowed by our defeat in Vietnam that they would fail to use military force even in cases where it was necessary and advisable.

    Had we failed to attack the Taliban after 9/11, it would have been claimed that our failure to do so was a result of the Vietnam Syndrome. After all, that was a straightforward military objective and there was no way we would still be engaged in Afghanistan a decade or more later with no clear victory in sight.

  110. 110
    Chris says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Hey, it’s true: the cure usually prescribed for Vietnam syndrome by armchair physicians is war, immediate and endless.

    The original cure perfected by Reagan was “military buildup, lots and lots of empty chest-thumping and flag-waving, and occasional small-scale, in-and-out, heavily scripted military interventions that’ll look good for the cameras” – e.g. invading Grenada and bombing Libya. In the eighties, they were still wary enough and the country was still war-shy enough that they knew better than to go for “immediate and endless war.”

    Then Gulf War I happened, was trumpeted as the equivalent of VE Day and “America’s back!” in the media, and faith in the Infallible Military returned. Then 9/11 gave them the war hysteria they needed to go overboard.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Lord knows I didn’t think we’d still be mired in Afghanistan a decade later, but I foolishly thought that having a specific objective would prevent that.

    Then the Bushies started rattling their sabers at Saddam and I knew we were fucked.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    @Paul:

    I agree with Ted and Hellen on this one.

    The balance in the Senate is too damn precarious to be pulling John Kerry out.

    All that dark money floating around, desperate for a win. And Scott Brown not necessarily the pariah that we at Balloon Juice conclude he is.

    I think Kerry should have taken one for the team and stuck it out in the Senate.

    What’s really appalling, though: not many of us can think of other nominees for Defense or State.

    Because a lot of the old hands on this are getting quite old, and it does not seem we can think of a “go to” Democrat on either cabinet position.

    That’s horrible.

  113. 113
    Elizabelle says:

    @JasonF:

    Well put, and I liked ABQ’s initial comment, too. The press ignores that the Republicans are untethered to reality.

    And it’s a conflict of interest. Like Brian Williams wouldn’t like to pay less taxes, or lives in the world we do.

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agree!

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Actually, by all accounts, there seem to be quite a few qualified bureaucrats like Susan Rice or the current undersecretary of defense. What there seems to be a dearth of is qualified elected Dems who we (and the Village) have heard of,

    I think Dr. Chau has done a pretty good job as Sec of Energy, so I’d be happy if the administration pulled some more “unknowns” from academia rather than sticking with elected officials.

  116. 116
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    So it’s your belief that a politician owes no obligation to his constituents to serve out the term for which he or she campaigned and to which they elected him?

    No.

    At any rate, are you even from Massachusetts? What do you care?

  117. 117
    👽 Martin says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The balance in the Senate is too damn precarious to be pulling John Kerry out.

    No it’s not. Anything that passes the House will pass the Senate. Hell, you could pull out 3 more Dems and that would still be true.

    And ignoring the pickups, the Dems in the caucus are more reliable than they were before with Lieberman and Nelson gone, and even McCaskill will be more reliable for the next 2-4 years.

  118. 118
    Jay says:

    @srv:

    She’s a military spouse. Take a breath, man.

  119. 119
    👽 Martin says:

    FYWP moderation!

  120. 120
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t see why a SecDef needs to have served in the military.

    He doesn’t need to, but all things being equal, I kind of like the idea of having someone at the top who’s actually been down in the trenches and knows from firsthand experience what his department, well, does, on the ground.

    Wish they could simply put a career military man at DOD, a career diplomat at State and a career spook at CIA for that reason. Not that I don’t think other people can’t do a good job too. But I remember reading the summary of the three big generations of American foreign policymakers and their backgrounds (Wise Men = Wall Street bankers and lawyers, Best And Brightest = Harvard intellectuals, Vulcans = Pentagon bureaucrats) and wondering, has no one ever tried having a team whose members’ careers have actually been on the front lines of the organizations they’re now expected to lead? It can’t do any harm to try.

  121. 121
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Good comment.

    And I’m a fan of Stephen Chu as well.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Elizabelle:

    D’oh — my thumbs may have been thinking of Elaine Chau. Though apparently his first name is Steven.

  123. 123
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Y’all are cute, trying to argue with the troll.

    The troll does not want to discuss substance. Ever.

    Ever. Ever. Ever.

    The troll just wants to piss you off. Period.

    Period. Period. Period.

    The troll *pretends* to want to engage in substance so y’all will take the bait.

    But the troll, you see, is socially retarded. The troll craves human interaction, just like most people do, but is incapable of pleasant interaction with others (daddy was a mean drunk, mommy was a pathological narcissist, whatevs), so they make inflammatory comments in order to bask in y’alls’ existence-affirming outrage.

    But if that’s truly the chicken y’all want to keep fucking, don’t let me stop you.
    =o )

  124. 124
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    In 2014, the Senate Dems are going to once again face a very difficult task to hold onto the majority. Unnecessarily removing a sitting senator is not exactly the best way to accomplish that. Every seat matters. (Maybe even Joe Manchin’s seat.)

    This doesn’t matter. The most important factor, above all, is John Kerry’s freedom to advance his career choices at HIS whim. Don’t forget: There is NO ONE ELSE, maybe someone not in a vital Senate seat, who is qualified to serve as SOS. JK is the only one who can do it, so fuck me and all other Massachusetts Democrats.

  125. 125
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Don’t forget: There is NO ONE ELSE, maybe someone not in a vital Senate seat, who is qualified to serve as SOS a Senator from Massachusetts.

  126. 126
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Ted & Hellen: So how far does this go? Do I get to be pissed because Obama nominated Napolitano for Homeland Security and she didn’t finish out her term? What if I (and many others outside of Mass.) want Kerry at State? Does that not count?

    Grow the fuck up and make sure the Democrat running for the seat gets elected.

  127. 127
    MattR says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Were you making these same points in 2004 when Kerry decided to run for President (which would have resulted in him giving up his Senate seat early if he had won)? Or did you reward him for that decision with your vote in his Senate re-election campaign in 2008?

  128. 128
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Hey, Timmeh, how long until Cole bans your latest trollnym?

    Seriously, stop arguing with Timmeh, he needs his nap.

  129. 129
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: That was so pathetic. I’m really laughing now. “John Kerry took becky to the prom instead of me. Waaaaaggggghhhhh!”. Would you like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to go with that?

    @MattR: Of course it didn’t. Kerry isn’t a nig(clang).

  130. 130
    James E Powell says:

    @catclub:

    Shoveling money to contractors qualifies as military experience.

  131. 131
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: “Le’me just piss into this strong wind, here, and see if I don’t get a different result, this time…”

  132. 132
    Cassidy says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: You’re assuming I’m pissed off.

  133. 133
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: They’re the little stick-guy in the bottom-right circle of this xkcd strip.

  134. 134
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Cassidy: Actually, if one must address a troll directly, I think you’re taking the right tack. A troll wants people to argue with their indefensible pronouncements, which you don’t play into.

  135. 135
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Cassidy:

    More like sado-masochistic.

  136. 136
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Cassidy:

    More like sado-masochistic.

  137. 137
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: Ha!

  138. 138
    Yutsano says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: I no longer respond to Special Timmeh directly. Instead I just talk around him like he’s not here, which makes him even more insane.

  139. 139
    Cassidy says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: God I wish I was a scientist. I am so failingly horrible at math.

  140. 140
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, the more they figure they have to ratchet up the rhetoric to get even just one “Fuck you!” around here, the funner it is to watch!

  141. 141
    Skippy-san says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Because he should understand the Soldiers Sailors Airman and Marines he has responsibility for. Flournoy is just another faceless SES roaming Pentagon corridors. And as an extra added bonus she probably is a closet neocon.

  142. 142
    Heliopause says:

    Flournoy warned in a speech this week that military planners might still be too “risk-averse” because of the Vietnam experience.

    Meaning she’s on the hawkish end of the “pragmatist” spectrum, meaning more terrorizing of the Muslim world and entrenchment of the vast Empire. Not that we should expect better, though Hagel might be just a tick less destructive.

  143. 143
    JoyfulA says:

    @tofubo: Oh good grief. A “D” secretary of defense signing the crap of Project for a New American Century. If confirmed, that’s what Flournoy will work for, along with the military-industrial complex, not the American people or the military or the vets.

    Next candidate please!

  144. 144
    JoyfulA says:

    @Jay: Yes, Jim Webb for SecDef!

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Skippy-san: He?

  146. 146
    OmerosPeanut says:

    It’s risky as all hell to get Kerry out of the Senate right now, but if Obama absolutely insists on this bit of 9-dim chess, I agree with mistermix that Patrick has to nominate someone who will be using the following year to prepare a strong campaign against Brown. Anything less than this is simply stupid politically.

    If the alternative is a third string Sec. of State who is less effective than Kerry could have been or Clinton was, so be it. This just means Obama will have to focus his efforts more heavily on foreign policy in his second term. And that isn’t a bad thing – isn’t this often what presidents end up doing anyway?

  147. 147
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @TR: The fact that the neocons are having an aneurysm is reason enough to back Hagel.

    And a nutty D hawk is still a nutty hawk. Yeah, that’s right, she didn’t serve. That Gen X idiot can sit down and shut up as far as I’m conserved.

    My aunt is a bit older than Flournoy. She’s a retired female NCO–one of the first. I have never once in my life heard her say that the military has “Vietnam syndrome” and is too risk averse. (I have heard her mock the pretensions of AF pilots, though–Go Navy.)

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OmerosPeanut: Patrick’s appointment of someone will only last until the special election this spring. The person who wins that election will serve the remainder of Kerry’s term and be able to run as the incumbent in 2014.

  149. 149
    Pococurante says:

    … Israel like something other than our 51st and most important state…

    /sigh

  150. 150
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: I voted for Randall Terry and participated in the Boston protest march, but I didn’t see any skinny, snide, sloppily-dressed gay artistes with an obsession with over-the-hill rockers in the crowd. FWIW he was probably getting his knob gobbled in the Fenway so he was a little busy at the time.

    If only the kitchen utensil would have been there–it would have gotten that out of his system.

  151. 151
    SamR says:

    @handsmile: I thought that Rice wasn’t worth fighting for, but Flourney absolutely is worth fighting for if she’s as good as I’ve read. But in addition, let’s go ahead and explode some wingnut heads.

    Never hurts to remind everyone that one party’s for equal rights and the other thinks there are certain subjects women shouldn’t worry their pretty heads about.

  152. 152
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Despite 9/11 I opposed our attacking Afghanistan for one simple reason:
    George W. Bush. I didn’t trust him to do anything, and I honestly believed we’d regret “following” W to war anywhere. (And that was before Iraq.)

    That said, I didn’t imagine we’d still be in Afghanistan after all these years. Bush was an incompetent idiot, but the institutional forces at work in this country are powerful and dangerous. We have no Defense Dept., we have a War Dept., which used to be the official title until we took our defensive role in WWII a bit more seriously than our aggressive impulses justified. We’re mired far too deep in our own peaceful mythology to change the name back, but it would be more honest.

  153. 153
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Jeez, all those words and you missed the his true title:

    J. Kerry — the indispensable man.

  154. 154
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You’re getting a lot of predictable criticism for questioning the Kerry appointment, but what I’d really love to be privy to were any and all conversations that took place concerning Kerry’s selection. Was he a second choice behind Rice? (I doubt it.) Does Obama truly believe that Kerry can do this job in a way that would be measurably better than other alternatives? Or was this just political payback for a long career — a personal gesture, rather than a political one?

    Did they consider the possible loss of this senate seat?

    None of that really matters except I’d just like to know the details that went into this choice. Knowing might help to explain some of the more inexplicable things about the president.

    Obama is free to choose whomever he pleases, but I really would like to know what his thinking is about things like the Senate majority. Clearly, he can’t think his job will be made easier by losing the senate majority in 2014.

    I can’t imagine what it is, but maybe there is some line of reasoning employed by Obama that would make this seem like a good or at least necessary move. It will be interesting to see how hard he is willing to work to get Kerry’s Democratic replacement candidate elected.

  155. 155
    WhyKnot241 says:

    I agree with the Mixster. A number of “feel good” liberal Dem names have come up. But it will be a bruising, need-to-be-won campaign. We need a smart, tough, energetic, and (hopefully) progressive candidate to start from day one fighting For Democratic policies and Against Scott Brown’s election.

  156. 156
    WhyKnot241 says:

    …I’ll add in response to those above who feel that Kerry owes it to the party to stay because 2014 or whatever. Suppose you worked for a company for 20 or 30 years and you wanted a change, something interesting, something rewarding before you retire. And the company says “No, you’re too valuable where you are”; how would you react? Bollocks to that! I suppose. Look. This isn’t rocket science, it’s common sense. Don’t count on incumbents. They have these things called “lives” that may not comport to your wishes. Build a strong bench…eager to move up. A bench of eager young progressives. Quit wringing your hands and STFU.

  157. 157
    Ted & Hellen says:

    This thread is exhibit #5,473 in demonstrating what a sad bunch of bitter, hateful folks comprise the Cult of the O.

  158. 158
    Skippy-san says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have a natural pre-disposition to a man as SECDEF. Sue me.

  159. 159
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I served in the USAF & we would mock the pretensions of AF pilots, so no problem there!

Comments are closed.