202 comments posted · 0 followers · following 24

419 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - The Age of Invective · 0 replies · +2 points

Loved your comment. I only think we shold note that "insidious" usually implies subtle working of harm--and there is nothing subtle about our Republicans' workings today. That critique I think significant enough to show Mr. Sullivan in diction untethered.

419 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Presidential Delusion · 0 replies · +4 points

"[N]ormal and proper legislative means" gave us Obamacare (reconciliation), the arbitrary (beyond who knows what calculations of PO) delay of the employer mandate, Obamacare exclusions to congressmen and their aides, and many more things besides such as various fiat-appointments. And if the 2011 debt ceiling standoff is the best evidence you can muster for Obama being correct (I'm so accommodating, I'm so tempered, I'm so calm), you're nuts.

You're only proof that Obama has a leftward ear. "Sometimes people think I'm too calm" indeed.

420 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Why Harry Reid Lost Hi... · 1 reply · +13 points

"They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose." I don't know if Harry Reid's conclusion flows logically from his premises, but his premised analysis and predictions of Obamacare are faulty. And maybe that's why Harry Reid lost his temper--because he's tied to the wounded pony that is Obamacare.

The shutdown is the sequester but better, for there is nothing so elementary in the shutdown specifically designed to hurt Republicans or their ends as was in the sequester. (That would be the severe and untargeted defense cuts.) The politics is much the same: Obama will attempt to make a public show of what negative effect the cutoff of government money can have.

Republicans should be cautious though. Anything they can do, if it's drastic... nothing stops Democrats from doing such a thing in the future. Democrats will indeed only look to such things, if they prove effective.

420 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - The Government Shutdow... · 0 replies · +1 points

"Perhaps that’s why Obama, Harry Reid, etc., are being so intransigent and refusing to negotiate. They know they can’t lose the public opinion battle."

At best they think they know. But it's not so certain a thing. I've come to agree to believe that the politics of shutdown are not (necessarily) so devastating. The politics of shutdown are similar to the one-time politics (with similar ramifications) of the sequester. Democrats face the same dilemna here as then: they can't allow the visible parts of our domestic federal government to function and function well at a less than current level, for such undermines them overwhelmingly.

Democrats may hold the MSM--but the influence of it has only been in decline from at least as early as the mid '90's. And, really, only the already-convinced can be convinced by something abstract to and distant from them. Reporting on how the shutdown is a disaster while shutdown is underway--and not so evidently a disaster--will not really convince most independents.

423 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Syria and the Perils o... · 0 replies · +2 points

I think that's a worthy question, one you should not be marked down for. Libya was not some ideal state beforehand with Qaddafi and, at any rate, Obama was never inclined to be smart, either in attack or in attack's aftermath. That is to say that having not conducted attack smartly (recall that "leading from behind" rose up as a phrase in this event) means that we don't know whether attack conducted more smartly would or would have not reached the "smart" threshold.

However and furthermore, we can't state that the mess of Libya is such due to our (**participation in**) attack--for such is really due our followup.

423 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Syria and the Perils o... · 0 replies · +3 points

You're right that it's burdensome to be the adult among so many so constantly childish and political--who, when abandoning childish politics when in power, then implement upon the country their often simple and childish ideology. (All your typing is quite right by the way.)

Obama, being so childish and throwing the ball at Congress, in this one instance actually enabled the adults to overrule his childishness--and I think that he so did this because the one thing he does not want to do is strike Syria, while yet sounding hawkish. (I think that he issued his red line because he never thought Assad would've had to cross it. It was issued in the context of a campaign--and, at any rate, before his last election, before he was flexible.) He (so is my thesis) correctly estimates that politics as a matter makes Congress not inclined to issue its symbolic authorization.

If Obama is blind to the perception he is creating by having issued his red line (and by now asserting it to be the red line of Congress, the American people, and the world) and not now enforcing it or enforcing it meaningfully--or if he doesn't at all care--well, that is for now for adults to see to and care for, as they must with all facts and all matters else.

Congress must define the mission for Obama, and not let his strikes be symbolical. They must variously put among the targets the housing elements of Syrian airpower. If they do this, the Syrian matter is largely settled. (This is ideal mostly because it's not a significant and uncritical bolstering of the Syrian rebels. Mandel has made points along these lines.)

Obama and the US (for, really, we are unfortunately now one) can then sell our action to the nations as being limited in initiative, mission, and severity. Yet, when Assad is overthrown, we can go to the rebels, and (rightly) claim that we were integral to their success. We must, after all (as adults), consider all possible ends, and what we want and can have in each end. Assad can remain in power; Assad can be overthrown; or this conflict can perhaps (this is too improbable, for one, and, for the US, simply too unworkable, to be a desired end of policy*) go on indefinitely. The US can only really prepare to gain in one of those scenarios with limited action, and that's the one where Assad is overthrown. The US can't gain with an emboldened Assad over a [forcefully] united Syria.

424 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Al-Qaeda’s Willing I... · 0 replies · +2 points

I am the chief offender in replying to such offenses, but thanks for being on topic. News organizations don't have to quote the steamy portions of documents that list our vulnerabilities--they only have to reference them to give our enemies direction in our world of clutter.

I think you're right about the left having a fixation with drones--I saw The Bourne Legacy a few months ago, and I have a point somewhere. But see my lengthy reply above--personalities of the right have gone into odd tirades about them as well.

424 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Al-Qaeda’s Willing I... · 1 reply · 0 points

I'm sorry ajwpip and _whatthedickens, but I have turned you (much like Obama in his memoirs with his various girlfriends) into a composite poster. Various parts of below reply are to just one of you.

I'm quite sure in other contexts that your opinions are even as mine--you're just not thinking in my terms. You might, for instance, think that the Democrats took a scandalously demagogic and hypocritical position in 2004 abandoning (all for the sake of politics) the war that was unanimously authorized by, notably, themselves. You might otherwise be annoyed or more at Obama's grandstanding and (as President) non-reversal on several things Bush--the lists go on and on.

The simple truth is that a great portion of the GOP is not inclined to the truth. Yes, I linked to Wehner--who himself referred to another, Elizabeth O'Bagy, who has done actual reporting on the ground in Syria, and states that the FSA is from foreign, pragmatic (propaganda-adept) extremists quite distinct. (They hold different territories, differing control demarcated by checkpoints--and, if you read the piece, the FSA has contended with a few such groups [and defended Alawite and Christian populations], these such groups opportunisticly coming in behind fights by the by, and not spearheading them.) It is now for time for the GOP to discard the premises that were accepted as fact in the last few years of media clutter, if it can. But I say that the GOP is not inclined to the truth because such sentiments as "Let Allah sort it out" will be heard and defended--when we are very humanly capable of sorting it out.

Ambition is a dangerous thing when not paired with principle. If Ted Cruz is principled (and, by the way, he really isn't), then he is not all-principled, as much of the meat of the argument for our inaction has simply disappeared with the publication of a few facts. (I say that Ted Cruz isn't principled because his various stances are not best explained by principle [and, really, logic is the first principle], but by a showy kind of grandstanding and confrontation [in both rhetoric and gesture] that simple Republicans are inclined to.)

If Ted Cruz were principled, then he'd use the arguments as are proper against courses of action he disagrees with. But almost none of his arguments meet this standard. Take his carefully (politically) weighed line against the activities of the NSA, the data-collection of which, although potentially frightening, is yet valid on constitutional grounds. Or take his bogus argument (or buying [or utilization] of the argument) that Obama doesn't have respect for the Fifth Amendment [though he may actually not] because he may [eventually?--unclear] end up "with drone policy targeting Americans." (Both here.) The tendency of Cruz to grandstand and confront that I posit however explains more than the virtue you say I should see in him. (Even if you think [and here is where I am a little unsure] that the budget process is where Republicans ought to take a stand and draw their line against Obamacare, surely you must still be capable of admitting that this is the confrontational way--you may even like such because it is the confrontational way. And I don't dislike and propose against such action just because it is confrontational. However, the arguments the by-various dubbed "suicide caucus" is much in line with the effective theoretical line Ted Cruz usually takes, that against the authority of courses he takes stance against. [For he contends that, if Republicans don't here contend with Obamacare, that there will be no more opportunity in the future to again contend. I think that otherwise is quite the case, but I digress.])

I happen to agree with the WSJ board that, because Obama has so graciously deigned to throw his red line and posited responsibility at Congress, that it is time for "the adults in Congress" to properly define for him the US objectives, mission, and role in Syria. I was never for any limited strike on only chemical weapons sites and depots. (I don't believe any strike on Syrian airpower to be in line with "limited" though, as such is heavy assistance to the rebels, regardless of what grounds we undertake such action on.) A quick note, I emphasize the O'Bagy article heavily partially because its facts are key--prior to, my prescriptions are in line with "the old facts"--if you were to look at my comments on the matter of Syria prior, you wouldn't see the same prescriptions.

424 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Al-Qaeda’s Willing I... · 0 replies · +1 points

But such wouldn't be the practical result (*necessarily--US action is a complex event that influences others depending on the manner in which it is underwent--this is put in parentheses because you're greatly wrong if you think Ted Cruz's logic gains the greater points, although there are cases where he might [blunderously] become correct), for the FSA and the jihadists in Syria are quite distinct. As well, if that's the mode of logic you and Ted Cruz wish to pursue, then I will likewise pursue it for the opposite end.

The President is transforming the U.S. Armed Forces into the Israeli Defense Forces, because he is striking what Iran will use as its foremost retaliatory launchpad should Israel strike it.

424 weeks ago @ Commentary Magazine - Al-Qaeda’s Willing I... · 5 replies · +3 points

Except the rebels aren't jihadis, and "our" policy is only what it is because Obama is in the White House. Obama likely only issued his red line because he never thought Assad might resort to crossing it. And neither does anything about Obama's actions in the current day indicate that he is determined to topple Assad.

The "establishment" is hardly the noxious entity you posit it is, and there is almost certainly no Republican "establishment" consensus on Syria. And Ted Cruz is highly dangerous, for he is highly ambitious. And ambitious people have to be feared when they speak on matters that, in principles-utopia, would be a matter of unanimity even in politics.