Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 9, 2008
POLITICS/WAR: Joe Biden Was Right

...for the first time in decades, in fact, on foreign policy: within the first day after the election, Russia and Iran both rattled their sabers to start testing President-Elect Obama. And an Obama foreign policy adviser reacted immediately by backing down in the face of the Russian statement. (It will be good to have Obama start getting his advisers confirmed so we don't have to keep sifting through his hundreds of foreign policy and economic "advisers" trying to figure out which ones speak for him).

Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Obama. The rest of us have been given no choice but to depend on you.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:03 PM | Politics 2008 • | War 2007-14 | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

Isn't Bush still the President? Isn't it his reponse that is relevant? It's nice to see the blame game going on in spades on this site -- McCain wasnt conservative enough to articulate an opposition to Obama, it was the media's fault for being in the tank, blacks only voted for Obama b/c of race (nevermind the fact that they always vote overwhelmingly for the Dem). It's time for conservatives to take a long look in the mirror and take some ownership for the defeat. YOu put Bush in office and you're reaping the whirlwind. You campaigned on Ayres not the economy and you got, justifiably, spanked. You championed Palin and she energized the Dem base and buried you with independents. I know I know you claim the country to still be center-right, its not your fault. Anything but your fault eh?

Posted by: robert at November 9, 2008 5:27 PM

Lowry at NRO basically says the same thing as Robert above.

Posted by: dante at November 9, 2008 5:43 PM

B O is the great unknown. He has shown absolute allegiance to no-one and to almost no ideas, though he tilted far left, radical, and black nationalist in his public career until the campaign. But now he has skidded to the center, propelled by the need to reassure "independent" voters, and as a result many pundits are choosing to believe he will rule from the mainstream. This is wishful thinking on their parts.

Fact is, we don't know. Because he is almost completely internally-guided, we can't be sure whether we will see a centrist, a short-sighted pragmatist, or a cautious leftist. We can't be certain whether he'll be bold enough to use American power in the foreign scene or withdraw in order to spend his political capital reordering society. We can't even be sure he won't decide it advantageous to become a conventional American patriot, striving for his place in the history books as more than a successful black politician.

I have my doubts about the latter, and intend to observe with a skeptical eye, looking for long-term signals rather than taking immediate events as a guide. Note, though, that his comments on the economy have so far favored safe and conventional leftward policies.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at November 9, 2008 6:25 PM

Bush can do all he likes to set out a short-term response, but these guys are playing the long game, and everyone knows Bush can't set policy beyond January 20. I mean, if you are Poland's government, how much stock will you put in a long-term security guarantee from George W. Bush?

Posted by: The Crank at November 9, 2008 6:32 PM

May 10, 2005 would seem to have been enough time for a long-term security guarantee. Though the Russians did not seem too scared of Bush's security guarantee that he made on that day to the people of Georgia.

To say that the Russians are now starting to rattle their sabres because of the election is to so willfully ignore what they have been building towards over the past 18-24 months it is absurd.

These are the kind of twisted partisan posts that I just do not get. You know very well that Russia has been playing this game for quite some time. To think that Russia would have stopped this had McCain been elected is outrageous and severly underestimates the arrogance of the top of the Russian government.

Posted by: CW at November 9, 2008 7:01 PM

Obama's not even in Office and already the 24/7 sniping at every decision/comment/event has begun.

Crank, if Obama had personally stepped up and commented, you would've complained about him usurping Bush...Let's face it, Obama can't, and won't win with you, we get it already...

With Russia, the people of Poland will be allowed to vote on whether they want the missile shield (which STILL doesn't work, just like Reagan's dream). They will obviously vote it down, and Obama will oblige. No need to cause a stir over a system that DOES NOT WORK.

Once again, I'm waiting for your summation of the Bush Years. I assume that absolutely NONE of the problems facing Obama were caused by Bush/Cheney/Rove's decade-long ineptitude, right?

No you had a choice, and you exercised it, Crank. You voted for McCain. More people voted for Obama.

Aren't you tired of the prospect of damning every move Obama will make even before he makes it?
You are the epitome of insincere: not one move of Bush's in 8 years in scrutinized. It is IMPOSSIBLE to assume that, even in your close-minded head, Bush made all the right moves every time. Conversely, you will criticize EVERY move Obama makes, even though you know that it's impossible for him to be wrong on all counts, too.

This dichotomy is what makes your blog essentially useless...

Posted by: FUQCRANK at November 9, 2008 7:14 PM

Is dissent no longer patriotic?

Posted by: dave at November 9, 2008 7:37 PM

who is dissenting to what?

Posted by: CW at November 9, 2008 7:39 PM


Yea it sucks when your guy immediately starts getting shots at him before he even has chance to get over the post-election hangover. Tough isn't it? Well get used to it because he (and because of you) are in the big time now. It is not going to get any easier. Crying uncle will not get you anywhere with Russia, Iran, China, Cuba, North Korea, and the terrorists.

So stop whining and tell your guy to grow a pair!

Posted by: Lee at November 9, 2008 7:45 PM

George Bush is gone in 70+ days and all the real security problems that the Left has wanted to ignore, or even better, has attacked Bush 24/7/365/8 for acknowledging and dealing with are still going to be there after January 21st. What do the enemies of this country see coming in 2009-an executive with no experience in defense matters, intelligence matters and foreign affairs who based a large part of his campaign on slashing military spending and appeasment and a Dem Congress with people already talking about slashing military spending 25%. The lessons of the Carter Admin and Clinton Admin regarding cuts in military spending and a passive approach to our enemies is totally lost on Dems. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure out what will happen...again...if a Dem President takes the same approach.

Posted by: dch at November 9, 2008 9:59 PM

Even assuming for the moment that this has anything to do with Obama, while "The Decider," Mr. "Bring It On" is still President . . .

. . . and even assuming that Crank and Lee and the fellas at Redstate are actually interested in seeing Obama "grow a pair" and talk some tough 'Mercan sense into those no-good Ruskies . . .

. . . what, exactly, is the problem with what Obama's press guy said?:

"President Kaczynski raised missile defense, but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign -- that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable.

He didn't say, "no, Obama will not deploy the missile shield, he'd rather talk and negotiate cause he's a wimpy librul'."

He said -- correctly, one would presume -- that Obama did not confirm anything. Would you have preferred that he make up a tough-guy Obama comment that he never made? Are you guys hoping for a continuation of the "Lie and Bluster" school of foreign policy that's served us so well for the last 8 years?

Anyhow, he said Obama would support the missile shield, assuming it works. What's the problem here, fellas? Care to explain?

Posted by: Mike at November 10, 2008 7:46 AM

The lessons of the . . . Clinton Admin

And what, pray tell, are those "lessons," dch? That bombing Sudan and Iraq and intervening in Bosnia can prevent the terrible terror attack that occurred on Bush's watch?

Posted by: Mike at November 10, 2008 7:50 AM

Mike, this time, it's my turn. They aren't listening. It's too easy to simply blame Obama for something that is occurring while the guy they've supported through thick and thin (well, until his incompetence was so transparent they deserted him like rats on a sinking ship), is still in charge, than to face the truth.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 10, 2008 9:17 AM

I guess this is what we get for the next 4 years (at least). Empty excuses that don't understand the issue at all, and blame Bush for anything Obama does wrong. Oh the joy.

Look, the statement "that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable" is all nice in a campaign, but it doesn't say anything, and leaders of countries know this. Has the technology proved to be workable in Obama's estimation? The question is will he deploy it now. That answer says: "I'm not telling you." It transfers the question to "workable." At least recognize that it is evasive.

Second, Poland is claiming that Obama assured them of support. He may have done the same kind of verbal gymnastics, but unlike in a campaign, where the only standard is "was he outright lying?" in international relations if you mislead people, they don't trust you, and they won't work with you. It doesn't matter if you lied, obfuscated, gave them the wrong impression, whatever.

The spokesperson backed down from that support. Now it could be the Polish side is lying, but that isn't the most obvious explanation.

You can live in denial about the fact that international players see Obama's election as an opening, but don't complain if the rest of us don't buy it. They are positioning themselves. For them, Obama is the only one in the position to make long term commitments, and it is his opinion that counts now.

I certainly hope that Obama passes these tests, for all our sakes, but if we put on blinders about what is going on, it isn't helping.

Posted by: Nobody at November 10, 2008 10:17 AM

CW: agreed.

Posted by: MVH at November 10, 2008 11:42 AM

Crank, based on you logic can we play poker or chess for money? So in the world of diplomacy this was a test for Obama. The Russians toss this out to see if he undermines the current President during a transition period. Seems to me like he toed the current administrations line forcing the Russians to either double down, back away or let this whole matter just fade away till another day. They gambled now they are on record with a plan to move missiles. Hmmm, once again explain how Obama looks bad when he failed to take the bait?

Posted by: javaman at November 10, 2008 11:56 AM

We all do have to depend on him, and the entire left-wing illuminati. We can not afford to back down to these countries. It's not good for America.

Posted by: Ms. Know at November 13, 2008 10:08 AM
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