Incurable Romantics

    Worldly wisdom has it that Sanders supporters are sentimental while Clinton's cohorts are cerebral.  In endorsing Hillary, the Des Moines Register decided:

    Iowa Democrats will have to choose between the lofty idealism of Bernie Sanders and the down-to-earth pragmatism of Hillary Clinton. For some, this will be a choice of whether to vote with their hearts or their heads.

    Last week Paul Krugman grudgingly acknowledged Bernie's single-payer healthcare proposal might be best if we were starting from scratch.  But it's not politically feasible so he plumps for Hillary's more modest tinkers to the  Obamacare "kludge" with which we're currently saddled.

    "Very serious people" are telling Green Mountain girls and boys everywhere that Bernie's great at diagnosing what ails us but his prescriptions have virtually no chance of being filled.  Forsake your hopes for a truly equitable society and accept Hillary's realistic call for modest achievable reforms they implore.  Nevertheless, the once-upon-a-time Senator from New York is the candidate with incurably romantic followers - ones who embrace illusion over cold hard facts.

    The Secretary's stalwarts are the ones who claim the millions of dollars she's collected for giving a handful of speeches to investment bankers play no role in her decision to oppose a new Glass-Steagall.  They believe the one-time Goldwater girl will be tougher on Goldman Sachs goldbrickers.  Hillary's heroes scoff at the notion she might be a little soft on CEOs who have put over $100 million dollars in the books of the formerly broke former first family.

    Clinton's cohorts believe her dubious diatribes against Bernie's single-payer health care proposal come straight from her heart and head.  They rest assured the Republican Senators and Congressmen who have voted dozens of times to defund Obamacare will rapidly respond to her call for costly improvements.  Doubts as to her steadfastness do not dampen the dreams of Clinton's cabal even when they learn of more millions conferred upon the Wellesley Young Republican by health insurers and for-profit providers.

    Romantic Rodham rooters carry complete confidence their candidate is best for her sex.  Denigrating a credible sexual assault claimant dogging the big dog and excusing his confirmed close-to copulatory congress with a subordinate less than half his age do not detract from her feminist credentials.  Hillary's helpful helpers insist speeches saluting the sovereign of Singapore - center of sex slavery and human trafficking - don't denote diminished determination to help oppressed girls and women overcome.

    To the Clinton committed, the first black President's first lady's commitment to racial justice is as real as her landing in Sarajevo under fire.  Harrumphing in 2008 that "hard-working white Americans" won't support Obama didn't reveal any hidden bias as far as they're concerned.  For Hillary's happy warriors, "three strikes and you're out" legislation is so last century and taking money from prison lobbyists is so last year.

    The Clinton convinced are ready right now for Hillary.  She may have been wrong on Iraq and Libya and she may support "more allied planes, more strikes" against ISIS and a "no-fly zone over Syria.  Her hawkishness may be beyond dispute but her experience is invaluable and will lead America to a better place donchaknow?

    And they say Bernie's backers are voting with their hearts.


    Which Clinton supporter in your personal circle pissed you off this time, Hal?

    "Goldwater girl" - Hal, please tell me all the stupid stuff you were doing at 16 so I can bring it up endlessly 50 years later. You're such a hit-man for your cause. You're really going to pile on with Hillary "denigrating [her husband's] sexual assault claimant" and use a speech about Singapore as enabling sex slavery?

    If you learn to separate the stupid stuff from real complaints and actual analysis, you might get to a diary that's readable.  Use your one on Pizza as a model - you didn't have to wallow in the mud or twist your logic into pretzels to write that one, did you? Relevant facts suffice.

    Except in times of crisis when there's a major realignment most children, without serious consideration, vote the party their parents voted. Often for their whole life. A small minority give party affiliation some thought and switch to a party different than their family. By all reports it's difficult for them, especially if done when young, and creates at least some small rifts in the family. Isn't this what we want, the children of republicans giving thought to their party affiliation and choosing to switch to the democrats?

    The sixties was one of those times of realignment and Hillary was one of many who moved to the democratic party. And she is condemned for it? Should we condemn all those who moved to the democratic party in the sixties?

    This is just one more instance of how hateful and bereft of intellectual integrity Hal's, and others, posts in support of Sanders are. I'm absolutely convinced by blogs such as this that the cause is not simply a political disagreement.

    "I'm absolutely convinced by blogs such as this that the cause is not simply a political disagreement."

    Here's the cause.  I agree with Robert Reich when he writes in support of Bernie - "[t]he upcoming election isn’t about detailed policy proposals. It’s about power – whether those who have it will keep it, or whether average Americans will get some as well."  On the other hand, I have read gobs of gobbledygook from Clinton supporters here and elsewhere explaining why she's best.  None of it is remotely convincing.

    We now have an opportunity to elect a candidate who will try to transform America into a truly fair society - a candidate who has demonstrated with very few wobbles over the past 53 years that he is firmly and fully on our side.  Perhaps Bernie will pull out the nomination against all odds and we will win.   I am heartened that so many voters are getting this.  But far too many don't and that pisses the hell out of me.

    You lose it at gobbledygook. People try to discuss with you in reasoned terms, but you ignore it as "gobbledygook" and then return to your spate of partisan talking points and ad hominem jabs.

    I get you don't like the way I deliver my message that Bernie is best.  Do you prefer the way Katrina van den Heuvel does here in the Washington Post?  She says pretty much everything I do but slightly less pugnaciously.

    No, she limits herself to the relevant issues without throwing in insulting barbs. It's even possible to be pugnacious without being off-topic, mean-spirited and misleading.

    There's of course a lot I'd disagree with or at least challenge to some extent, but notice no mention of Goldwater in her column.

    No "insulting barbs"?  What about this: "But Clinton opposes key elements of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) rational reform agenda for the banks, and her money ties to Wall Street lead any rational observer to conclude she’s an uncertain trumpet for reform."

    Didn't van den Heuvel just call Clinton a "strumpet"?

    Sadly a career in comedy wasted. Quick, call Jimmy Fallon...

    What's a "truly fair society" Hal?  Wouldn't a truly fair society be on in which I am free of being coerced into doing things I don't want to do?

    How about we start with nobody sleeps under bridges?

    Why don't you start the trend by inviting one of the bridge sleepers into your home Hal?  Surely you have a spare bedroom in your suburban spread don't you?  A basement?  How about a tent?  Don't have one, go buy one.

    Thanks Jeff for a suggestion that will definitely alleviate the problem.  Do you have in mind any societies that have successfully relied on private charity to reduce meaningfully poverty rates?

    I have about as many examples as you do supporting your belief that higher taxes on somebody else can solve homelessness and guarantee a unicorn in every back yard.

    Tokyo has a tiny number of homeless people.  Its rate is 1/67 that of New York's.  The reasons include much less income inequality and a much tighter safety net.  I do not insist higher taxes on the rich is the sole way to reduce income inequality and fund a tight safety net.  But it's the most obvious.  Perhaps, you have other suggestions. 

    This list of offensive strawmen is proof that you have no interest in rational dialog. You just want to piss people off to get a nasty argument going. Prove me wrong.

    They rest assured the Republican Senators and Congressmen who have voted dozens of times to defund Obamacare will rapidly respond to her call for costly improvements. 

    Show me just one link to some Hillary supporter that claimed the modest improvements Hillary proposes to the ACA would be easy. Everyone I've read knows even small improvements will be a difficult fight.

    Ordinarily I'd respond to your insults with insults. But sorry hal, I'm in a pretty good mood atm and also very busy so I don't feel like playing the nasty fight game you prefer.

    Ocean-kat - there's not one insult in this entire piece unless you call "sentimental" and "romantic" insults.  Since you do challenge one of my assertions, I am happy to respond.  You ask for a "link" to a "Hillary supporter" claiming "the modest improvements Hillary proposes . . . would be easy." 

    In criticizing Sanders' plan, Krugman writes: "it’s really hard to see, given this picture, why it makes any sense to spend political capital on a quixotic attempt at a do-over, not of a political failure, but of health reform — their biggest victory in many years."  In other words, let's not spend political capital on single-payer.  The obvious implication is that trying to reform Obamacare won't cost political capital or not much.

    It doesn't imply that at all. One can say it doesn't make any sense to spend political capital on a quixotic attempt and also believe that making modest improvements would be difficult. But you know that. I've never understood people who are so attached to a politician that they're willing to abandon all intellectual integrity, all honor, all truth. I don't understand how you can post garbage like this and not be ashamed. Aren't you embarrassed to have nonsense like this associated with your name? To have people read it and think you're a fool? People like you are a complete puzzle to me.

    And you say I'm insulting.  Whew!

    Hal, you're not seeing the commonality of pizza and politics. The secret to Pepe's great pizza was belly sweat. I know because I met the man. A good politician puts sweat, warts, bad days and choices she wishes she had not made into her political pizza. In your eyes, Bernie is pristine, and so is his political pizza, not enough salt, not enough sweat.

    Actually, Hal, you're not doing Bernie any favors. None of us here make these choices easily---and enough with the Goldwater Girl garnish.   

    Hal, you stopped me cold with your out-in-left-field thoroughly debunked "Goldwater Girl" remark. You know and I know Hillary was a Goldwater Girl in high school.  High school!  And she laughs about it today

    But here:  Paul Krugman did not "grudgingly acknowledge" single payer would be best.  My god, we ALL believe that.  It's getting there that's the thorn in our sides.  Are you suggesting that Hillary wouldn't want single payer?  Even though she has said many times that's the ultimate goal?  How about you spend a little time showing us how Bernie is going to get us there when no one else has been able to so far?  How will he do it?  And when?

    I wrote about this years ago.

    I find myself in the second? grade.

    And my class was supposed to vote for President of these United States of America.

    Well, since Ike was President, I thought it would be traitorous to vote for somebody else. hahhahaahahha

    This was the only time in my 65 years where I voted for  REPUB. hahahahahahahha





    Drat - I had a great reply written and somehow I lost it.  Let me try again more concisely.  Yes, the Goldwater girl remark may be unfair.  On the other hand, I had to run with the alliteration of "Goldwater girl will be tougher on Goldman Sachs goldbrickers".  Moreover, I think it's justified because Hillary's 60s conservative persona isn't that dissimilar from her current pro-corporate pro-military positions.  Just as Bernie hasn't strayed far from his roots as a marcher with Dr. King and a dorm integrator at the University of Chicago.

    Regarding why Bernie's better on healthcare, I have mentioned both Nation editor Katrina van den Heuvel and Robert Reich in comments to this blog.  They explain even better than I (if that is possible) why Bernie's call for single-payer will likely lead to better results than Clinton's preference for improving Obamacare.

    Finally, I do doubt Hillary is ultimately committed to single-payer.  If she is, she has a funny way of showing it.  By questioning its costs and trying to paint Sanders as a tax hiker for supporting it, she is adopting right-wing industry talking points.  She is also disingenuously suggesting this more efficient solution which leads to better results at a lower cost will burden working Americans and the middle-class.  In any case, the millions healthcare industry CEOs have paid her for speeches strongly suggests they don't believe she will push for single-payer government provided healthcare which would end their extraordinarily lucrative careers.

    I was going to put this buzzfeed link up in the "News" section, but upon reflection decided it belongs here. Enjoy!

    To be honest, I don't like either Clinton or Sanders for the job. Because of the primary sequence, my vote on the matter is not relevant even if I did fervently prefer one to another. So, on that level, anything I say is already off topic because it doesn't back or oppose your horse, dog, or what have you.

    In regards to foreign policy, all the things I have read don't give a clear read on what either candidate would do with the power of Commander in Chief. One of them has always done their job as a part of another person's command and the other has no experience at all with that level of decision.

    One thing to note about Obama's experience is that he went from trying this and that military adventure to basically shutting all that talk down to a very basic framework. This is the hand off. Just like being handed the Iraq war, this is what the next person in office has to start with.
    None of the campaign stuff reflects this reality.
    At least the Democratic Party is not acting like they have super powers.

    Staying with foreign policy, I think it's impossible to know what any administration will do in the years to come. As Obama can certainly attest, unexpected stuff happens. When he and Clinton ran in '07 and '08, neither had any way of knowing what the world would look like ten minutes after their inauguration, much less through years in office. That story will always remain the same.

    With ISIL and their ilk on the rise, far more complicated fissures and alliances on the horizen, cyber attacks/hacking becoming common and the undeniable globalization of the economy - to list only a bare few - trying to determine now how any president will lead then is fruitless. But we can look at the candidates and decide where to pin our hopes for the best possible outcome.

    I think that's so true barefooted. I've been thinking about the drone assassination program recently. In theory I have no problem with it. In practice I have big reservations. We don't know how targets are chosen so we can't form opinions whether it's justified or not. We don't have clear information about civilian casualties. But that's the type of detailed information that governments just can't release. So the choice is to discontinue the program or trust the president. After weighing the issues in my mind I decided that, whatever my disappointments and disagreements with Obama, he's not a loose cannon, he's intelligent and thoughtful. I decided to "pin (my) hopes for the best possible outcome." I think this president can be trusted with this decision.

    I agree with your analysis of the state in which we find ourselves today. The problem we're facing is how to move forward on an uncertain path toward tomorrow. There is no clear or perfect answer. There can't be. So we're left with an impossible choice that nonetheless must be made - and will ultimately shape what tomorrow says about us. Cue whatever the next generation calls themselves!

    Framing the issue as you do, that it is impossible to know what will happen in the future, does not make for a convincing argument. We can sensibly choose to believe that Hillary will be good on children's issues because she always has been. We can believe she will be good on women's issues because she always has been. Why would anybody sensibly choose to ignore her history as an interventionist hawk and justify that by saying that the future hasn't happened yet and so we cannot even know what to expect in areas of leadership where being a life-long Hawk should lead us to expect that she would continue to be one in the future? Sanders is not particularly strong on foreign policy in my opinion but because I am very much against our country's bullying militaristic policies I believe he is the better choice for those who believe as I do. If you think more of the same as we have had for so long is the way to go, then Hillary is the right choice for you, but I reject completely that idea that we cannot reasonably know what to expect from her on foreign policy. We can expect that her past decisions are an indication of her future decisions. 

    1) considering how the framing around the 2002 vote on Iraq has been so miscontrued - it was a vote on inspections allowing military force to pressure Hussein on that, when everyone thought Bush was going in anyway, and Hillary was only a minority junior Senator at the time voting like half of her party - I hope you don't construe "interventionist hawk" off of that, as it'd be quite bullshit. In that case, military threat did work - it got Hussein to allow definitive inspections that he wouldn't have without. That Bush went into Iraq anyway isn't a black mark on Hillary or the UN Security Council that approved inspections and AUMF-like resolutions - it's a black mark on Bush and Cheney and Tony Blair.

    2) Hillary's handling of Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't great, wasn't bad, and AFAIK she was mostly limited by Obama's preferences himself. We should have just gotten out of Afghanistan long ago, but he upped the ante and the surge.

    3) I didn't like how we turned the Arab Spring into regime change through no-fly zones, but I also don't underestimate the difficult of resolving a long-term strongarm ally like Mubarek vs. the unknowns of the Muslim Brotherhood. You got a better idea? Just let the people decide? We did something like that in Iran in 1979 - wasn't a great turn for democracy nor for security.

    4) The handling of Syria and Libya pretty well sucked. AFAIK, Libya was about France & Italy wanting the Benghazi oilfields, and Syria seems to have been wishful thinking handing out weapons - Fast and Furious east. Though the rise of ISIS is better traced to our guy in Iraq kicking out the Baathist officers than specifically the Syrian rebels - but in any case, yes, I would have just left Assad alone - who gives a rat's ass what goes on there in the end? They don't really threaten Israel, they don't have much oil, they're not a threat to Saudi Arabia, it's all pretty meaningless.

    5) But Sanders' hints at bringing in the Sauds and Russia and Iran to help police things is opening up a big can of worms. No Fly Zones aren't great, but as Hillary rightly noted, ISIS really really really wants the US and others to put boots on the ground, and we'll get Blackhawk Down with US soldiers having their heads carved out on primetime TV - unh unh, no way. So unless Sanders gets into the groove a bit more and risks his peacenik resolve (he voted against pushing Iraq out of Kuwait - how's that again?) he'll hardly be taken seriously.

    6) Bush was in office a month or so when China downed one of our planes to Haiphong and sent it back in a box. Russia has done some interesting threats of embargoes on the EU along with the Ukraine and Georgia flareups. There will be some challenges on the foreign affairs front and whoever's CIC better know how to call in favors and get stuff done quick, which frequently is within a few hours or a day to prevent things from spinning out of control. Not always a pretty result, but urgency and clarity and comfort with the network & procedures is critical.

    I hope you don't construe "interventionist hawk" off of that, as it'd be quite bullshit. 

    Are you suggesting that, all things considered, she is not an interventionist hawk? 

    Compared to whom? As is often the case, Lulu, context is everything. The big picture is a puzzle full of little pieces that have to fit perfectly together over a long period of time, and is never, ever finished. A large reason for that is the fact that mistakes - often catastrophic and engineered, often unnoticed and unintentional - are made by leaders worldwide. All of them human.

    If you're not willing or able to realize that "good", "bad", "hawk" and "dove" are interchangeable at any given moment, then you're too focused on that one puzzle piece that just doesn't fit.

    I also think the world is more complex than Lulu and Hal see it. They paint in black and white, hawk and dove. There's a lot of greys between those extremes. I'd like to see a little bit more robust foreign policy than we've seen with Obama. Bush created this mess in the middle east and we can't just walk away from it. We can't let Europe be inundated with refugees from America's mistake. I think Hillary is a bit more hawkish than Obama and a lot less hawkish than the republicans. I hope she can strike the right balance.

    Again I cannot agree. The words "good", "bad", "hawk", and "dove" actually have quite different meanings. A "hawk", as I and everyone else uses the term when speaking of a politicians inclination towards use of the military  is certainly different from a "dove". Does the term "hawk" fit Hillary? Can you find a link to someone who thinks she is a "dove"?


    I squinted and stuck out my tongue, but couldn't quite tell what your search criteria was ... oh, there ... "Hillary Clinton War Hawk?" Come on, Lulu.

    That nonsense aside, you've twice missed my point. No one is static. No one is always less than one degree from where they start unless they aren't willing to realize that degrees shift. Frankly? Hate Hillary Clinton all you like for her policy positions. But don't expect me to consider Bernie Sanders as a capable CIC just because he'd prefer to ignore the hardest, ugliest and arguably most consequential part of the job.

    I do not, would not, suggest that when the term “hawk” is applied to a person that it describes their positions past, present, and future in totality and with nuance. But, do you suggest that the term has no meaning at all. It is a term that has been applied to individuals, usually politicians, for our country’s entire history. It is a term that I believe could be properly used to describe McCain or Graham or Chaney, for instance, even if there are some or many differences in the way they would demonstrate that fact. I believe that if you asked any professor of political science whether or not Hillary is a Hawk they would answer that yes, she is a hawk. The fact that she is a hawk may not be a negative to you, it certainly isn’t to many, but to pretend that the term has no meaning or that it does not apply to her, or that a long public life of being a hawk is not indicative that she will be a hawk in the future makes no sense at all if the expected attitude of a potential CiC is considered to be important. Obviously, opinions of importance differ and you will have the opportunity to express your different opinions with your vote.

    I don’t know why the right hand side of the screenshot was cut off but you are correct, I googled Hillary Clinton war hawk and got 167,000 hits, but what the hell, it is the internet after all. Almost anything can be found on the internet except, apparently, a claim that Hillary is not a hawk.

    I think it would be a bit of an overstretch for McCain and completely accurate for Cheney and inapropos for Clinton. You can use it relativistic, to say she's more hawkish on foreign policy than Bernie, but as an absolute? Silliness. But the internet is built on silliness - cat pictures and what-not. Hillary is a regular cottage industry for misleading or downright false information.

    How many articles that say she doesn't drink her own pee or hang dildos on the White House Christmas Tree or didn't kill Vince Foster? So I guess if the internet says overwhelmingly she does all these things, it must be true - strength in numbers, they say.

    Such an interventionist hawk who opposed Bush' surge.  Why didn't Hillary put boots on the ground in Libya if such an interventionist, and why does she oppose it in Syria? You've got the hawks in the Republican party who want to make the desert glow - presumably nuclear attack - has she ever espoused that?

    Did she pour fire on the revolt in Egypt, or help arrange a peaceful transition? [we can argue about more-or-less supporting the status quo, though that's now gone, but then we'd have to debate the threat about the Muslim Brotherhood seriously - probably something neither of us is qualified for in depth]

    Here's The Nation giving Bernie Sanders shit in Feb/Mar 2003 for railing against Bush's invasion - and then voting for it. Bet you won't see that mild contradiction pop out of the rabbit hole. He voted against pushing Iraq out of Kuwait, but then supported the war against Kosovo. Frankly I was for both actions, but I'm also not going to define Sanders based on 1 or 2 votes for the rest of his life. [please note I think The Nation was way over-impressed with the amount that Hussein was complying with inspections, and it was only when the US started sending troops and materiel in November that their urgency picked up. (also note that the November 2002 election was a disaster for Democrats - there's something to say for Americans getting the government they deserve).

    During the 2008 debates Hillary was given such grief over her hawk-like comments about Iran, but unlike Joe Lieberman's continued pressing for invasion of Iran, hers were specifically to ward off Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons and attacking Israel, drawing a line in the sand - hardly encouraging regime overthrow (see below).

    I'm much more critical of Hillary on foreign policy than anything domestic, but most of her left-wing critics pull stuff out of context and have no appreciation for how diplomacy plays out. (and frankly, her more nuanced approach to foreign policy was rejected by the Democrats in 2008, so either she played Obama's way or would stay part of the opposition - she chose the former. I'm sure she would have gotten much more criticism if she had played a Senate critic these last 8 years).

    BTW - I'm still waiting for that WWIII in Ukraine over Crimea and Donbas - from what I see, our little bit if intervention prevented a much larger spreading of a problem and preserved Ukraine's sovereignty even if it's still dealing with corruption and not quite ready for the EU.

    Hillary on Iran, 2008:

    "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)," Clinton said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."


    "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she said.


    "That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic," Clinton said.

    The United Nations on Iraq, Nov 2002 (a month after the AUMF vote in Congress):

    08 November 2002
    The UN Security Council adopted a revised US draft resolution on Iraqi disarmament. Security Council Resolution 1441 contains no hidden triggers and no automaticity with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach reported to the council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA, or a member state, the matter will return to the Council for discussions. The Bush administration claimed a major diplomatic victory the unanimous Security Council resolution to send UN weapons inspectors back to Iraq. But the process required nearly eight weeks of painstaking negotiations and entailed some concessions by Washington.
    The resolution adopted by the Security Council on 08 November 2002 gave Iraq seven days, until 15 November, to accept the resolution. The resolution called on Iraq to declare its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles within 30 days, giving Iraq until 09 December 2002 to declare what weapons of mass destruction and related materials it has in its possession. The resolution gave UN inspectors 45 days to resume their work in Iraq, or until 24 December 2002. The chief UN inspector Hans Blix said he intended to go to Baghdad within little more than a week, about 19 November, to begin the task of restoring the inspections mission, with some inspectors expected to arrive a week thereafter. The inspectors have 60 days to report on their progress to the Security Council, though it was not immediately clear from the draft resolution when this period started. However, at any point the inspectors can decide that their work is being obstructed. Assuming that the inspectors would report 60 days after the the 45 day inspection deadline, the inspectors could report back to the Security Council as late as about 22 February 2003. Assuming that initial inspections began on 25 November, soon after the arrival of some inspectors, the inspectors might report back to the Security Council by 24 January 2003. Although the US would consult the Council if inspectors reported Iraq had failed to cooperate to discuss the consequences Baghdad whould face, the US would not have to wait for UN approval before taking military action.

    Clinton's probably the worst of all worlds.  She supports bombing and drones without (too many) boots on the ground.  Result chaos, anarchy, terrorist training grounds - Afghanistan, Northern Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen.  On the other hand, boots on the ground suck too.  Obviously, Clinton realpolitik has been an unmitigated foreign policy disaster.  Time to move on.


    It is true that being in the hot seat of emerging events shows character and intent in a way that no other method can. But my lack of enthusiasm for choosing between Clinton and Sanders on the basis of foreign policy is that both candidates do not go beyond the parameters of character and intention when speaking about such matters.

    I brought up the inheritance of issues element not as a general condition but as a background that reveals what having a new idea about how to proceed would look like. Obama continued the Bush Doctrine because that was the instrument that was handed him. His decisions can be seen as good or bad in the context of that instrument but his legacy will not be including an attempt to transform it into something else. What is the drone program but an exquisite refinement of the idea: We decide who is the enemy no matter where they are on Earth and accept no abridgement to our power to Smite Them. Given such a joystick, it is obviously a matter of concern who gets to hold it but that discussion is light years away from a discussion about the joystick itself.

    What Dr. Cleveland said about the GOP being stuck in an elevator with George W. Bush entangles the Democratic Party as well. The instrument of the "neocons" is not something that stops by itself when brought into enough disrepute. When Powell cited the Pottery Barn rule of "You break it, you buy it", he was only considering Iraq. It turns out that we are the plate on the floor. No broom to be found, far and wide.

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