Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 18, 2008
POLITICS: Now, Who Is "Confused"?

Barack Obama and "the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor." Kinda like how he thought FDR and Truman had negotiated directly with our enemies when they...demanded unconditional surrender. Or forgot that it was the Red Army that liberated Auschwitz. It's as if Obama studied his grade-school history in a foreign country. Oh, wait...

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:01 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (30) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Well, well , well, the U.S. is now seeking a "time horizon" on withdrawing troops from Iraq and beefing up forces in Afghanistan. Nice to see Bush following Obama's advice instead of Cheney's for a change. And even McCain is positioning himself for the inevitable flip flop on timetables by changing from "the surge is working " to "we have succeeded in Iraq". Wouldnt it be delicious if McCain's indefinite occupation strategy would fall victim to the "success" of the surge in stabilizing Iraq? I also love how Romney is weasling around TV now crediting McCain for authoring the "surge" strategy as if he cooked it up in some warroom with Petraeus from the outset. Of course McCain is also predicting more suicide bombings as the election nears to hedge his bets.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at July 18, 2008 3:40 PM

Hey Crank, do you think deep down lefty mental patients like the poster above really know how full of crap they are or are they just totally delusional?

Following Obama's lead-Oh My God! How funny! Following the lead of the emptiest suit ever. A man with no accomplishments and no demonstrated leadership qualities. BTW -how many Senate sub-commitee meetings regarding the war in Afghanistan has sub-committee chaiman Obama called-oh yeah-zero. That's leadership.

Quagmire! Failure! the war is lost! Worst President ever! General Betrayus! Haliburton! Bush lied,people died........ Oh wait, things are now going so well even a brain dead lefty can't deny they are occuring-the reason is because of cut, run and surrender democrats-you know its just like how the democrats and Gorbachev won the cold war.

Posted by: dch at July 18, 2008 5:21 PM

Well, the change-the-subject instinct is alive and well.

Obviously Bush isn't following Obama's lead, nor does anybody seriously believe he is, especially since Obama's plan calls for withdrawals beginning in May 2007 and ending before the Democratic primaries are over. Oops.

Bush is reacting to Maliki. Maliki is reacting to his own assessment of his own political needs as well as the situation on the ground. All of which is driven by the success of the surge.

Is it a good idea? I'm still mulling that. Nobody ever said timetables were a bad idea once you have cemented a victory. The question is whether we have sufficiently passed the point where we can start drawing people down and trust that the Iraqis have the situation in hand without us. No serious person thought last spring that we could reach that point by now. I'm still a bit skeptical that we have. That said, since goal #1 of the post-invasion period is an Iraqi government that has popular legitimacy and the willingness and ability to defend its own territory, realistically we have to go once they have decided that they can stand on their own. If Maliki is really pushing for that, and increasingly it looks as if he is, then the end may really be in sight, and on far better terms than if we had fled the field behind Obama's call for retreat last spring.

Posted by: The Crank at July 18, 2008 5:33 PM

Of course, if Obama had been calling the shots the end of the Iraq nightmare for the US wouldn't be in sight. It would have never happened in the first place.

BTW, loved Alterman's idea about those who attack Barack Obama's plans for Iraq:
"...it might be a good idea -- for the sake of fairness and intellectual honesty -- to preface their remarks by saying: "Of course, it was the judgment of people like me who caused this catastrophe, and nothing I predicted before the war has actually turned out to be true, while Obama was not only correct about its likely effects, but also prophetic. Still, I feel qualified to instruct him that ..."

Posted by: Berto at July 18, 2008 7:38 PM

Focusing on the topic of the post, rather than the usual snaky remarks by left wing trolls, I would gladly overlook errors in speech by Obama if they had not become so commonplace to the point where I now have come to expect them.

I do expect in a President a strong factual knowledge of history in regard to wars involving our nation. Unfortunately, the presumed savior seems to have learned history as leftist policy and not as facts that happened. For the record, the BOMBS (not bomb) were dropped during (and I mean right at the same moment) discussions between US and Japanese diplomats in Washington DC. I'd like to Senator BHO and his supporters take that into their calculations in regard to negotiations without preconditions with a developing nuclear power that has sworn to wipe non-Islamics off the face of the earth.

Berto, have you ever jumped all over the President's malapropisms, or do you give him the benefit of the doubt? A discernible difference between President Bush and the Obamessiah is that the former freely admits to verbal gaffes and is able to poke fun at himself, while the latter is unable or unwilling to own up to poor speaking ability w/o a teleprompter. It seems his various lapdogs are just as unable to concede that just maybe he might not know what he's talking about.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at July 18, 2008 9:19 PM

I guess "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" is just around the corner.

Posted by: Jerry at July 18, 2008 9:25 PM
nothing I predicted before the war has actually turned out to be true

Actually, Berto, I reject that premise. Certainly if you look back in my archives here to 2002-03 my pre-war views on Iraq have mostly held up well - I'll admit that there have been times during the post-invasion period when I was unduly optimistic about the implications of particular signs of progress in Iraq, and that's one reason why I'm a little hesitant to declare now that it's a good idea to buy Maliki's view that it's time for withdrawal timetables. But my pre-war overview holds up much better than what a lot of the anti-war crowd was writing during that time.

Bonus question: show me Obama's assessments of the war during the period between November 2002 and March 2004.

Posted by: The Crank at July 18, 2008 10:01 PM

This liberal mental patient/left wing troll thinks Crank is right, the jury is still out on any drawdown according to timeline. Fact is, this is only a possibility at the moment because of the shift in resources to Afghanistan, and the massive bases at Bagram and elsewhere are going to provide a quick-strike capability. Bush's agreement to a reduction will come out in the wash between those who already favor either the right or left. And it's not going to make much of a difference, because if the Iraqis don't make it happen - you can bet we'll be back in a flash. Fact is, the surge was necessary to improve an already hot and completely avoidable mess, and while it was much too little and too late, it served to save this administration's backside via the relative stability in its aftermath.

However, Obama's speech in question reads with a thematic reason to say "the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor" followed by "the threat of nuclear annihilation". Furthermore, the singular quality of 'the oppression', 'the lawlessness', 'the bomb' and 'the threat' all in succession are simply techniques used by the writer(s). Much ado about nothing here.

Crank, your last guy has spawned a lucrative business vertical with his innumerable verbal gaffes chronicled via calendar, coffee mug and t-shirt. Your current guy just had his #1 economy lieutenant resign in shame after munching on his heel and ankle, to say nothing of Carly's tasty remarks. Grasping at straws.

Posted by: macsonix at July 19, 2008 8:17 AM

Interesting that you backed W in 2004, even though he botched Afghanistan per the post you linked to.
"Unduly optimistic" is euphemistic for "my cheerleading was 100% misplaced".

Finally, enough with the 9/11 stuff. It doesn't work on me.
I'm with W on that. He didn't think 9/11 was very important. That's why he was against the creation of the 9/11 Commission (before he was for it--because he's so resolute and all--LOL), underfunded it, stonewalled it, and made Condi his Secretary of State after she bald-faced lied to it. If it's so unimportant to the guy who was President of the US on 9/11, why should it be important to anyone else?
Sure I feel bad for those who lost loved ones on 9/11, but I feel bad for those who lost loved ones on any day.
The only response to "9/11" should be "yawn, what else you got".

Posted by: Berto at July 19, 2008 8:39 AM

Obama dropped an "s" in his speech! Clearly he's unfit for office! Think of the children!

Nice analysis, Crank. I see your Obamanoia has returned.

The comments to this thread actually contain legitimate discussion. Why not write that sort of thing in the post and leave the snarky "he said BOMB not BOMBS" crap to the hacks.

C'mon, man. This garbage is beneath you.

Posted by: Mike at July 19, 2008 8:46 AM

You would think someone who graduated from HS in Honolulu might be a bit more aware of the most significant event in Hawaiian history?....maybe those rumors about this guy being a serious druggie as a young man weren;t malicious after all

Posted by: ironman at July 19, 2008 8:51 AM

Once again you stoop to new silly lows in your critique Obama. The point of the article is he used a singular term instead of a plural one. I bet those clowns over at Redstate would have gone nuts if he said bombing. Funny, how you have not had any courage to write about the return of the Taliban. This just in the Taliban had DIRECT involvement in 9/11. Also, good thin the current President never makes mistakes in his speeches. But, then again Sunni and Shia has McCain still confused.

Posted by: javaman at July 19, 2008 10:15 AM

Bomb or bombs, 57 or 50, I am willing to overlook one word verbal gaffes by any candidate simply because they speak so much that it's just inevitable. What is intellectually unacceptable is that BHO frequently speaks eloquently but incorrectly, thus revealing his faulty knowledge of history. Here is a link that addresses his comments about the Boumediene decision in context with rights accorded defendants at Nuremburg.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/06/020784.php

Given the opportunity to expostulate about law, it becomes obvious that the learned lawyer does not know what he is talking about because he's been too lazy to review the basic facts regarding his topic. My low regard for Ivy league degrees continues to nosedive into heretofore unexplored territory. Just how uneducated must one be before a university will say, "Sorry, but you simply haven't demonstrated intellectual rigor sufficient to award you with a law degree"?

Posted by: NRA Life Member at July 19, 2008 11:13 AM

They probably told some Mick from Pearl River to go to Fordham so they'd have a seat @HLS for BHO

Posted by: Ironman at July 19, 2008 4:37 PM

Yeah, and the Fordham lawyer would likely be the far better of the two, without the need of judicial legislation based on emanations and penumbras.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at July 19, 2008 5:07 PM

Yeah its hard for the Irish to get ahead with the man always keepin' us down.

Posted by: Patrick at July 19, 2008 9:21 PM

I started to get annoyed at you Crank for arguing over minutae, something better left to Ann Coulter and her ilk, but then remembered that this kind of stuff has been around the US since at least the 1800 election. That was when the Federalists (who are very worthy representatives of the far right today, down to the Alien and Sedition Acts) would hammer Jefferson for his (lack of) religious stance. For those who don't know, he didn't think the First Amendment went far enough, so he pushed through a passage of law in Virginia guaranteeing that for the first time, a public officeholder did not have to declare he belonged to the proper religion, and that no denomination would get state support of funds.

He was excoriated at every step by Hamiltion and his high up Feds, who also couldn't stand Adams, their own president because he Fed credits weren't pure enough for them. So some electors would vote for Pinckney, but not Adams, giving the Democratic-Republicans their first federal victory.

Those who don't learn from history....

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 20, 2008 9:41 AM

Maliki wants the U.S. to withdraw, and agrees with Obama's plan. There's no fudging it at all. We'll see if crank's "if they want us to leave we leave" holds any water with McCain. I love how calling it a "time horizon" rather than a "deadline" makes it palatable to the neocons. What a bunch of doublespeak for political purposes.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at July 20, 2008 3:32 PM

Soothsayer per the latest news accounts-Mailiki does not agree with "Obama's" plan and what he said was misreported by Spiegel-what a surprise lefty talking point created by media and not supported by facts. Who knew?

Posted by: dch at July 20, 2008 10:22 PM

Leaving because a democratic government says that's what it wants is a bit different than reenacting Saigon 1975; which was something the Left thought was both desirable and inevitable pre-Petraeous.

Is that too subtle a difference for the "reality-based community"?

Posted by: ironman at July 21, 2008 6:48 AM

Daryl - One item of minutiae is just fun. When they add up and all seem to point in the same direction, they become a pattern. The main point here is that the Barackheads point to every McCain verbal stumble as evidence of senility, when their own guy has had more of them than McCain has. But the ones about WW2-era US history add up to a guy who just doesn't grasp the essentials of a crucial era in our history, an era McCain is old enough to vividly remember (when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, McCain's dad hopped in the car and went straight off to the war).

seth - Yes, your argument has been overtaken by the facts - Der Spiegel has been a consistently anti-war anti-American rag for years...I'll have more on this when I get a chance...a general "time horizon" is slightly less rigid than fixed timetables, but it's not a large difference; the large difference is the extent to which conditions on the ground are suitable for announcing such a schedule. In spring 2007, when Obama announced his plan, it was sheer lunacy.

Posted by: The Crank at July 21, 2008 9:21 AM

McCain's not "senile". He's stupid.

Crank,
WWII was a war. Notice the gas rationing, draft, conservation programs, taxes, reporting on the dead and wounded, etc.
This Iraq debacle was a way to pay-off the campaign financers with the nation's Treasury. Still haven't seen a flag-draped coffin on the 6:00 news. Have you?

Am I really supposed to believe the most powerful military in the history of the world has been fought to a 5-year standstill by a ragtag group of middle-east teenagers?

Next thing you know, you'll expect me to unquestionably believe the son of a lifelong Bush family business partner just happened to be the mastermind behind 9/11.

I guess I could go "all in" and be in the market for a nice bridge, cheap, if any poster has a spare one lying around.

Posted by: Berto at July 21, 2008 10:44 AM

Hey Crank,

You're right that one would think the guy has a little more knowledge of such a crucial moment in American History. But like I said, in this particular speech his stating that a "bomb" was dropped was metaphorical, although admittedly not effectively so. It's like saying a "bomb got dropped on New Orleans" a couple of years ago via Katrina, or that the blitzkrieg of London was like one huge "bomb that devastated the city".

Any response to how Obama's mistakes are molehills and Bush's mental missteps are mountains? Or how funny it was to focus on such a minor issue in a week when McCain's top advisors were letting some real zingers fly? What about how it's far less shocking that Obama might not have his history straight than it is to realize that Bush spent the last five years lying his arse off? Not for nothing, but criticism based on the accuracy or inaccuracy of a candidate's statements (or the overall statements of a campaign) aren't, and should not be, your strong suit.

Posted by: macsonix at July 21, 2008 1:28 PM

Maliki himself is saying he wants US combat troops out by 2010, which is essentially Obama's plan. That's being widely reported by multiple media outlets, not just Spiegel, so I think my argument is wholly supported by the facts. Oh yea, you cons think the entire media is a vast left wing conspiracy, so I guess we can discount these reports too. When Fox News reports Maliki's comments then maybe you'll agree. I doubt it even then.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at July 21, 2008 2:16 PM

McCain is a joke. He and his surrogates act like he alone came up with the "surge" policy when in fact it was a military decision cooked up by the likes of Petraeus. McCain implicitly admits that the "surge" hasnt brought political stability to Iraq since he contends that "success is fragile" and opposes all timelines for withdrawl against the Iraqi government's own stated wishes. McCain ignores the larger role that internal cease fires reached with the likes of Al Sadr played in lowering terrorist attacks (as does the MSM for that matter). Like an automaton he chants "the surge is working" over and over again hoping that the public will accept that by osmosis. Sadly that often succeeds. Meanwhile at home he's all about screwing over American workers by defending NAFTA and opening the immigration floodgates. If it was up to him we'd pour trillions more into Iraq and then attack those hurt by the economy as "whiners". Bob Barr is the only candidate who favors a sensible small government conservatism that reserves our war powers for national security not foolish imperialism. Obama's right about Iraq but too liberal on other issues to be trusted.

Posted by: robert at July 21, 2008 2:40 PM

Americans know Obama was dead wrong about Iraq and was only too happy to embrace defeat Why not? He was sucking up to a bunch of losers.

The fact that McCain is still in this race attests to what a weak candidate you Lefties are saddled with.

The Pearl Harbor bomb that dropped itself!

What a tool.

Posted by: spongeworthy at July 21, 2008 3:02 PM

I see someone started nipping at the hooch earlier in the day than usual.

Posted by: jim at July 21, 2008 3:53 PM

NRO itself is reporting what Seth said, so the conservative spin that Maliki didnt really mean it, or that Spiegel distorted his statement, isnt holding water.

Posted by: dante at July 21, 2008 4:01 PM

Sponge, I guess you, as well as Crank and righties (well, I prefer to think of you as wrongies) are assuming that the American public believes we SHOULD have gone into Iraq in the first place, much less state that Obama can't admit to being dead wrong about Iraq. He was right. Dead right I guess, but too many people are dead in this stupid little W War.

He did speak against it at the beginning, when a leader should have. And your own leader, the little W? A good leader would have fought the right war all along in Afghanistan. Send in the Hellburners, with enough troops and a declaration of war. I guess he thought that waging battles in some 12th century backwater wouldn't give him the press that landing on the Lincoln with that stupid banner would.

It's not that the public has changed its attitude; it's that we are sadly resigned to the fact that we are there; still there.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 21, 2008 6:28 PM

"Maliki himself is saying he wants US combat troops out by 2010, which is essentially Obama's plan. That's being widely reported by multiple media outlets, not just Spiegel, so I think my argument is wholly supported by the facts. Oh yea, you cons think the entire media is a vast left wing conspiracy, so I guess we can discount these reports too. When Fox News reports Maliki's comments then maybe you'll agree. I doubt it even then."

OK, Seth. Then how come Obama is admitting that neither generals on the ground nor the Iraqi government support his plan. From the WaPo:

"Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the dramatic turnaround in U.S. fortunes, "does not want a timetable," Mr. Obama reported with welcome candor during a news conference yesterday. In an interview with ABC, he explained that "there are deep concerns about . . . a timetable that doesn't take into account what [American commanders] anticipate might be some sort of change in conditions."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki's timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama's. More significant, it would be "a timetable which Iraqis set" -- not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki "wants some flexibility in terms of how that's carried out."

Posted by: Joel B. at July 23, 2008 1:25 PM
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