I think the timeline comparison is a poor argument - it's an apples-and-oranges comparison between defeating conventional armies and nation-building. The latter is harder than the former, even under the best of circumstances.
Which these aren't: we don't share a common culture, language, or religion with the Iraqis or Afghans.
But that should be a pretty obvious tipoff that nation-building in these nations is something we're quite poorly equipped to do. So maybe it's time to admit that, and get the hell out of Dodge, er, Afghanistan.
"It was an amazing bait-and-switch to de-escalate in Iraq while escalating in Afghanistan. The "progressives" didn't even notice or see it coming."
Speak for yourself, Jerome. We saw it; it's just that in 2007 and even much of 2008, it looked as if closing the deal in Afghanistan would be possible if we actually paid attention to it for a few minutes, unlike Bush. So it made a great deal of sense at the time.
The problem is, by the time Obama came up with an Afghan strategy, things were obviously much worse than that, and the 'bait and switch' doesn't make much sense at all now.
We really need to be looking for a way out, but Obama seems determined to stay the course rather than adapt to a much worse situation than he expected when he first trotted out the idea. That's the only surprise: I figured he'd have the guts to cut his losses in a bad deal.
The GOP has always been the party of "if people are too dumb/don't have the energy/whatever to do X, then they shouldn't vote."
We're the party that is adamantly against barriers to voting, the party that believes every adult should be able to vote without impediment.
It's a Tuesday, people have to work, and yet there will only be two polling places open in the entire county. I can see the thought going through the heads of the party types who support Blanche: "that'll knock a couple thousand off Halter's vote totals right there." It might. But it is an atrocity.
Here. Reid was running about 10 points behind in January; now he's running 2-4 points behind his assorted challengers. Nate Silver says the GOP has a 77% chance of picking up this seat; I'd love to get a bet down on Reid at anywhere near those odds, because I think he's gonna pull it out.
Meanwhile, in Arkansas where Nate gives the GOP a 92% chance of winning, Halter's closing the gap with Lincoln, and R2K shows him running essentially even with any opponent besides Boozman, and only -5 there.
Just sent $200 to Halter's campaign fund. I've always said I'd open my wallet for a good primary challenger, and now we've got one.
I think the odds are improving for November. We're still gonna lose ground - it's a midterm, after all - but if things break right, we really could limit the Senate losses to ND, IN (Evan Bayh, useless to the end), and DE, and quite possibly pick up OH, MO, and NH.
If the Dems are still at 55 or better in the Senate come January, I think they'd be strong enough to pull off at least a partial filibuster reform, in which case the next Congress wouldn't have to be wall-to-wall gridlock.
Jerome: like you, I'm against changing the rules on filibustering once the Dems' majority is down to 50-51 Senators. Hell, it would even feel less than legitimate to me if their majority fell to 53-54 Senators; anything less than 55 would, IMHO, really smack of trying to undo the impact of a shrunken majority through changing the rules.
As far as shortsightedness is concerned, two things:
1) It's not like the Dems got much advantage out of the filibuster during the Bush years. Bush got most of what he wanted anyway - the Dems were afraid to filibuster stuff that should have been filibustered, and of course there was the Gang of 14 'compromise' where the GOP got the judges confirmed that the Dems had filibustered earlier. The only real filibuster-based victory I can remember from the Bush years was that the Federal estate tax wasn't repealed. And it would be a hell of a lot easier for the Dems to reinstate something like that if they only needed a majority to do so on returning to power. So I'd say the 2002-06 argument is still a win for abolishing the filibuster.
2) The GOP will surely get rid of the filibuster anyway if they ever again control the Presidency and the Senate. They won't feel constrained by niceties, or even the worry that eventually the worm will turn. I'd like to hear a counterargument to this if you've got one; I haven't heard one yet.
1) Many in the lefty blogosphere said at the time that it would be a good thing if the GOP succeeded. (I had mixed feelings, myself.) The real travesty was the Gang of 14 'compromise.'
2) There's a strong argument that judicial nominations should be filibusterable even if everything else isn't, given that Federal court appointments, once done, are for life and can't be undone. So it's hardly hypocritical to oppose the effort to repeal judicial filibusters while supporting an end to filibusters on everything else.
3) Ending the ability to filibuster a Motion to Proceed would still leave in place the right of the minority to filibuster a vote on the bill after it's been debated on the floor of the Senate. Ditto judicial nominations.
If he's pro-gun and pro-life (which I can forgive in a conservative district), and also anti-health care reform (which I can't), what's he with us on?
Especially, what's he with us on, so much that he's worth $800K of Dem money?
This is why I've long ago stopped giving to the DCCC and DSCC, and instead give directly to worthwhile candidates through ActBlue.
At what point do you want to lose well, rather than elect someone who'll nominally be a Dem, but vote GOP most of the time? It's also important to nominate people who won't run from Democratic positions, who will be able to persuade people this year so that we might win a few years down the road.
So I don't see how you can say they were inconsistent. If, as Edwards said in 2004, that there's one America for the wealthy, and another one for the rest of us, then his 2008 campaign was where he put forth his ideas on what to do about that.
And they were damned good ideas, and forced Obama and Clinton to the left on health care and climate change. We're where we are in terms of legislation on both of these issues, at least in large part, because of the campaign Edwards ran in 2007/08.
Yeah, he's a freakin' scumbag. But we owe that scumbag a big thank-you.
I said over at CogBlog (yeah, that's me, despite the different screen name) that she was "basically Glenn Beck, only using an indoor voice," because her column had that Back-like logic with diagrams and arrows and stuff.
It's the difference between a moderate who only wants to quietly cast a couple dissenting votes to calibrate their image at home - versus a blowhard like Lieberman who actually goes on national television to badmouth his own party.
No, it's the difference between a moderate who only wants to quietly cast a couple dissenting votes to calibrate their image at home - versus a captive of business interests who happen to know that the cloture vote is the 'real' vote, and won't be the least bit fooled if their pet Senator votes 'yea' on cloture and 'nay' on the bill itself.