Exactly: John Cole on Obama

Nail head and hammer:

I swear to God the only people on the planet who have figured out that Obama is a rather mainstream moderate, center-left on some issues, center-right on others, but definitely not a wildly transformative character, are me and Daniel Larison. I seriously am beginning to think, reading some of the lefty blogs lately, that the only people who thought Obama was a radical liberal were the National Journal, a few talk radio hosts, and the progressive wing of the party. Obama has never once showed any inclination to up-end the establishment, he has consistently worked through the establishment. Harvard Law Review, anyone? Con. Law prof at the University of Chicago? This is not Ward Churchill we are talking about, folks…

Say what you want about the way his election was run, because that truly was transformative. Elections will never be the same after the campaign Team Obama ran. But if you really think Obama is a screeching liberal, you haven’t been paying attention and are going to be really upset. They guy is a technocratic pragmatist, he is cool and calculating and calm, and he shrewdly picks his battles. Folks like Larison, and, most definitely Bacevich, worry he is entirely too establishment. I think he is the best we have, so we go with him

I think there were a very others who figured it out (Andrew Sullivan, myself, Scott) but the point stands nonetheless–and Larison has been on the ball with that one for some time.

The lefter wing of the Democratic Party made the same basic mistake that David Freddoso in his book–to confuse Obama’s years as a very liberal Illinois State Senator (in a very liberal district) with how he will govern when he becomes president.  But that was because Obama works within the system he gets, and he represented a very liberal district, hence his views and policies were shaded in that direction.  But he is long since out of that world.  Since I don’t go totally for the Spenglerian Buchananite paleoconservativism, I also agree with Cole that I think BHO is the best we’ve got, so we go with it.   Though really far from perfect, but I actually have a sense of calm and trust in the fact that he looks serious about actually governing, that he will play the game. Remembering that the presidency is only one among a multitude of political players (no imperial presidency or cult for me thank you very much).

Update ICoates smelled the coffee too.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 8:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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John Cole Quote of the Day

I know I link to him pretty regularly, but nobody does perfect sardonic humor like this guy (especially when responding to the craptacular McCain campaign). The punchline for today is:

“Nothing says peace, prosperity, and optimism like fire-red skies and fighter planes.”

To see the referent of his snark, go here.

[Bonus reference to a pink-colored #2].

And check out his Update II–McCain schedules a big talk on an oil rig to push for off-shore drilling and a giant OIL SPILL near NEW ORLEANS is closing down the Mississippi River. You can’t make this s–t up. Talk about some bad m—af–king karma.

Further News:  The Oil Rig Speech is off.  Ya think?

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

John Cole on why Left-Wing Bloggers Suck

As usual he nails it why netrootish types are not ready for the big leagues yet:

Watching the collective freak-out over the New Yorker cover yesterday, it has become clear that the left wing blogosphere has become very adept at whipping themselves into a Malkinesque frothing outrage, but they still seem to be unable to maintain the message discipline that the right-wing bloggers have perfected. I challenge you to, at this point, find right-wing bloggers critical of McCain. You won’t. It is all anti-Obama, all the time.

So if you are going to become just as bad as right-wing bloggers with your fauxtrage, you ought to at least pick up one somewhat useful characteristic- their message discipline. I can’t read a comment thread or visit a left-wing blog without continued self-mutilation over Obama’s FISA role. As such, a quick pointer.

This is not just a recession. This is the BUSH recession. This is the REPUBLICAN RECESSION OF 2008. This is the BUSH/MCCAIN RECESSION. Say it loud. Say it often. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

John McCain’s policies will continue the BUSH/MCCAIN RECESSION. John McCain’s financial adviser thinks you are a whiner for experiencing tough times in the BUSH/MCCAIN RECESSION. Your retirement fund is going in the shitter because of the BUSH/MCCAIN recession. You will not be able to pay for college for your kid because of the BUSH/MCCAIN recession.

Again, if you are going to copy these guys, at least be competent.


Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 9:24 am  Comments (2)  
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Clark/McCain II

Lost in the tempest in a teapot cable news (non)scandal let’s forget about the real issues and continue to reduce the most important poliitical election to sideshow f–kuperry o’ the Week (Wes Clark v. McCain) is an important piece of information that undercuts McCain’s whole defensive manueverings.

Clark’s thesis recall is that military experience does not automatically grant claims to executive leadership skills.  Which is not remember a shot against McCain’s military record or service.  It’s honorable; it just doesn’t translate into automatically being a better President.  It’s neither here nor there to the issue at hand–whether he is the more qualified for the job. 

Turns out, if you can believe elections, the American populace happens to agree.  A point McCain is no doubt highly sensitive about which is why they are hitting back so forcefully–i.e. Clark hit a sore spot/vulnerability. 

Think of say the last four US prez elections:
Bush beat Kerry and Gore (both Vietnam Vets) while himself not serving.
Clinton beat Dole and HW Bush (both WWII Vets) while himself not having served.

If Obama wins, this pattern will continue yet again (which as of today he is comfortably ahead of his opponent in the polls).  So looks like for “real” Americans military service does not automatically equal would be better president in the minds of the majority.   

In fact if you listened to what Clark actually said, the only way someone could claim military experience as executive authority credentials would be if they were high level commanders (like Clark was)–i.e. they had to draw up overall strategy, were responsible if men died because of their poor planning, ran military bureaucracy/staff etc.  Like again Clark had to as Supreme NATO Commander in Europe during the Balkans Conflicts.  [Which btw according to most estimates, he did a helluva job on].

By that standard, the only president in the last century who qualifies is Dwight Eisenhower.  And again McCain’s service is to be respected, but I don’t think even he would compare it to the level of Ike. 

Which in a rational universe would return the debate on foreign policy to I don’t know the 2 wars we are currently in, the candidates policies on the matter, Iran, China, judgment about the wars we are currently engaged in.  On all fronts, Obama (imo) not without some quibbles but light years ahead of McCain. 

But sadly we do not live in a rational universe.  Though by the logic of the US pol. universe we do inhabit, John Cole in ’12:

I not only rode in and fired an M1A1 Abrams in the Army, but I drove the bitch, too.

Please donate to my Presidential Exploratory Committe via the paypal link, as I clearly have the right stuff.

By the positive link, it should be clear to readers, I’m angling for the Veep slot on the Cole Ticket. [Bonus:  I would put Ohio in play!!!] 

The Juice de Balloon

If you don’t read John Cole and Crew over at Balloon Juice, you are missing out.

Nobody better for a combination of intelligent, biting criticism and expletive laced snark. Bonus Points for him being the ur-Obamacon (along I guess with Andrew Sullivan).

He is particularly on target lately against Hillary (warning: some very harsh descriptive language) in her recent tirades against Obama’s “bitter” comments. The latest of which consists of (I s–t you not) photos of Hill-dog taking shots and chugging brewskis and talking about shooting ducks as a girl. If Obama is supposedly so elitist with his comments, what does it say about a woman worth in the ballpark of a 100 Mil to reduce people (and how they will like her) to her getting hammered and firing off a few rounds. That’s not condescending, excuse me?

To channel Cole for a sec, if you’re gonna lie to me, screw me, and leave me in the morning, at least make me believe it. Bill could do that–I mean on a political metaphorical note (not literally with the Bill reference). He gave me a bunch of BS but at least he could carry it off. She is just transparently bad it’s sad. I feel really awful for her. Honestly. But if you’re gonna do it, do it well or do it not at all. She’s the worst of both worlds on this one.

On one level I genuinely feel for the woman. But she doesn’t do herself any favors that’s for damn sure. She was great at the Compassion Forum tonight. But that is just one side. Carl Bernstein here on the other.

Here she is total wonk, uber-ambition, and the embodiment insider whose run (let’s be honest) possibly the worst campaign I’ve ever watched in my life at least on the Prez level (yes even worse than Al Gore 2000 or John Kerry 2004–not coincidentally run by the same guy whose not on her Hillary’s staff so she is without excuse) and this is what she is reduced to. That she just couldn’t see this was going to be a year for change after eight years of a failed presidency I just don’t get. Yeah I can see the in 2006 the Democrats ran on competence, but all she had to do was eek out a bit of the change message and get out ahead of that one and no one would be mentioning Barack Obama. And further she would be in the easy driver street to being President of the United States.

So while I feel for her in some ways, I also think she has nobody to blame but herself.

Here’s Cole:

If the party elders (are there any?) can not figure out what this power-mad lunatic is doing to not only Obama, but the goals of the party, and if they can not realize how she is simply, in her quest for the Presidency, reinforcing the bullshit Republican narrative, then the Democrats don’t deserve to win. If people can not stand up to Clinton and call her on this crap, we deserve four years of McCain.

Apropos of which is this story from The Scotsman saying JImmy Carter and Al Gore are going to push Hillary out (perhaps in concert with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) either by A)going to her privately and telling her time to call shop (after Penn I would say) or B)announcing for Obama and then superdelegates follow (Gore not Carter–Christ somebody keep him out of Gaza and talking to Hamas please. He already ruined his presidency does he need botch someone else’s before he even gets elected).

The Scotsman is the paper you may recall that broke the Samantha Power “monster” comment. Why the Scots are playing a role in this election I have no idea but they can join Canada and Colombia in a weird three-way. On the other hand, it’s all anonymous sources and Carter backed off this morning on This Week with George S. But he also repeated the Nancy Pelosi line that the superdelegates should vote for the pledged delegate winner (though he also said they were free to judge on other terms, simply that was his opinion on the matter).

Here’s Obama hitting back hard. This is some fire and he’s getting back into his transformational mode of speech. If anybody thought this dude was “weak” and unable to fight back, that accusation is dead.

Published in: on April 13, 2008 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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