President Obama

Cusack & Turley Discuss the Obama Record

I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday tweeting about this article in which John Cusack interviewed Jonathan Turley about the Obama foreign policy and civil liberties record, but I figured I should share it here, too.

You know where I stand on this kind of all-or-nothing, absolutist accountability -- what Cusack calls a "Rubicon line" -- so I won't get too deeply into the same points I've made over and over. Obviously, I had issues with a couple of the facts presented in the piece, including Cusack's assertion that President Obama ran as an "anti-war" candidate who was opposed to the Afghanistan war. This simply isn't true.

I've read this claim before so I wasn't particularly ruffled until Turley, who, by the way, supported the Citizens United decision, said, "I think that people have to accept that they own this decision, that they can walk away. I realize that this is a tough decision for people but maybe, if enough people walked away, we could finally galvanize people into action to make serious changes." He's suggesting that people not vote -- or vote for a third party as a means of enacting a shift from the red/blue paradigm.

In a fantastical world in which we all drive delicious jetpacks made of fudge, this might work. In our world, we have to cope with both immediate and long-term consequences, personal and national, that go along with abandoning one of the two major political parties when, in fact, neither of them particularly need the anti-Obama far-left anyway. They really don't. If far-left progressives depart, the Democrats will tack farther to the right to get the votes. Meanwhile, what happens policy-wise? The Republicans will certainly win more elections, and we can only imagine the awfulness that will follow as the potentially decades-long process of breaking from the current two party red/blue system evolves.

On Twitter, I politely urged Cusack and others to take a "smart accountability" approach with the president: a targeted strategy for convincing more Democratic politicians to adopt progressive causes. Progressives agree with the president and the Democrats on many more things than we disagree (for every apparent trespass on foreign policy, the president has succeed in a dozen other areas with policies that have not only worked, but have drawn us away from the Reaganomics "government is the problem" mantra). Progressive activists just need to coax them a little more by making a strong yet reasonable case, and by convincing voters on the ground that progressive policies work so it's politically safer for Democrats to move leftward. Cusack is certainly erudite on the foreign policy topic and can make a strong case -- and the president has shown an aptitude to listen to reasonable opposition, but there's nothing in the president's history that indicates he responds to people who have no interest in participating in a rational policy debate.

Anyway, read the interview yourself and come on back with your thoughts.

  • Joy H.

    Ok, just a follow up. I knew Cusack was different than Greenwald and Turley. He posted this in his Twitter thread: , which is a Chomsky interview (yes, Chomsky) that essentially concludes that voting in a way that allows a Republican in is not an option. (Last paragraph). Cusack says he comes to same conclusion basically, and says that he said as much another way with Turley (what I was interpreting when he spoke about local politics and holding POTUS accountable for CL issues, I guess). He also gets heckled a bit later in his feed and says something to the effect of “vote to stop the republicans and keep them from dismantling new deal altogether, but then we stop Obama’s crap” (paraphrased). Sounds like what Bob was talking about. Chomsky actually advocates organizing and putting forward progressive issues on a grassroots level just like Bob did too. We’ll see, but I think there is a difference between here. I would actually join a smart peace, CL-minded (non loonbat) movement, if it didn’t come at the expense of everything else we have been working for.

  • ArrogantDemon

    The fact that Obama ran on not supporting stupid wars, doubling up in Afghanistan, going into Pakistan to get bin Laden, which he did, and fighting terrorist and this is on fucking tape, and they can just gloss over it to bolster the point of them feeling slighted is mind boggling.

    These far left emos who wanted Final Fantasy Obama instead of the real Obama make me sick

  • trgahan

    Honestly, I can’t help by see people who hold views like Cusack and Turley as having ZERO stake in outcome of the election. It’s easy to be some BS forgiven policy/civil liberties purist when your quality of life is under no threat. In fact Cusack and Turley will probably greatly benefit from a “protect the job creators” tax cut orgy that Romney would start.

    Such total pretentious BS with an obvious distain to everyone too poor to be isolated from the results of electoral politics.

  • missliberties

    I have zero patience for this Greenwaldish view. None.

    Can we all just remember that the next President of the US will likely be appointing several Supreme Court nominees.

  • mrbrink

    “Rubicon line” is now code for “I am a dumb shit.”

    The whole thing reads like it took place between two guys in a cramped apartment over an 8-ball of blow.

    • nicole

      Yes. And has approximately as much value.

  • Razor

    I haven’t been this pissed at John Cusack since I spent money on 1408.

    • nicole

      Hell, it didn’t dawn on me that he was an actor until I saw your post. :)

      He can go to hell. His piece is all over Newsbusters, HuffPost, and so forth. He accomplished nothing except to provide ammunition for the other side.

      I don’t know why he (or anyone else able to garner attention) thinks going round and round intellectualizing these issues PUBLICLY will be in any way productive given the political realities of our time.

      • i_a_c

        This crowd does not care about politics, just navel-gazing.

        • missliberties

          I’d say they are more interested in puffing up their egos.

          • i_a_c

            Let’s compromise and say it’s half-and-half. ;)

          • missliberties

            I don’t think they have that much influence do you?

            Other than fodder for GOP oppo research on how to attack Obama from the left.

            I just can’t see any of these dolts voting from Romney anyway.

          • i_a_c

            Nah, they’re not terribly influential. Their presence on the Internet (e.g. Salon) is probably disproportionate to the overall population, most of whom do not read political articles every day. I would say that they are about 2-3% of the population that would vote Nader, or Gary Johnson, or not vote at all.

            Despite this, they sure do get on my nerves. Probably because they more closely resemble that cartoonish strawman version of liberals that rightwingers like to attack, and not actual liberals who are mostly reasonable. I don’t care to be associated with their ilk.

  • Joy H.

    I responded to this on your Facebook thread which I will just graft below what I said, but first to Ashby, who is always smart and usually dead-on in his assessments, and a few others lumping Cusack in with Firebaggers: He is not really a Firebagger. But he is the sort of liberal who is swayed by Greenwald on substance (whenever there IS substance in a Greewald screed). JC is very issue specific. He is utterly anti-war and comes from a family of anti-war activists and people who took social justice and war protests to the streets and had Philip Berrigan over for dinner.

    This, I believe, is the defining issue in his mind of the decay of our society (see War, Inc.), and though it’s tempting to dismiss peaceniks like Cusack as Firebaggers, he really is not that. I have seen him give Obama his due even if it’s somewhat overshadowed by his critiques. Turley, to me, is completely divorced from reality, but I can see why they overlap here. I think we dismiss people like Cusack at our own peril because he is not simply shouting at the wind. He does make some important points and if you read the piece, sort of turns over in his mind what to do (whether to protest vote) and does provide a couple of options (get involved in local politics, hold the president’s feet to the fire on CL issues) besides pure anarchy.

    Because I have been a nerdy fan of his films I have always read whatever he writes and he is a very well-read and informed guy. As I write below, I am not as optimistic (naive?) and Turley and he are here (or radical), but I think these are the people and views whose energies could be channeled into petitioning the Administration, or spearheading grass roots movements to address our military policies, rather than pushing them into the arms of Ron Paul wackaloons or empty chairs. Here’s what I wrote about the piece in Bob’s FB thread:

    “Well that was stressful. There are many good points, and it does make me think and worry about what we have become–oddly I would say that the most indicting thing I noted about the whole discussion is how optimistic it is. Turley thinks maybe we can galvanize the country with a protest vote? In its barest analysis this country grew from the theft of land and genocide of Native Americans, the labor of slave workers and women without votes, and the imperial grab of other countries resources. The money we spend, the movies we see, the products we buy, they ALL contribute to the continued status quo and the preference of our standard of living over the mere subsistence of other cultures and countries, or sometimes over that of even our fellow citizens. There is a lot to try to make right, and it’s not a useless argument to point out what’s wrong. I admire the ethics of these guys, but I really question what idyllic America they might be invoking if not actually remembering. The Constitution does have Amendments, however sacrosanct we hold it, and its writers were amazing men and patriots, who also happened to cheat on their wives, own slaves, and have syphilis. It doesn’t change the brilliance of that document–or the extremely complicated nature of what being and voting American means. I agree with what Cusack encourages regarding local politics. I do think holding the Administration’s feet to the fire on these issues is an equally productive suggestion. Are we doing enough on this front? I will not be voting for Romney, however, and I will not stay home. Call me a moral relativist, but it reminds me of the horribly misogynistic joke where a guy asks a women if she’d sleep with a stranger for $100,000,000 and she invariably says “yes,” and the guy says “how about with me for $10 bucks,” and she says outraged “what??? I’m not a hooker!” and he says “we’ve already established what you are, now we’re just negotiating price.” Crude and awful, but apt here I think. This is all well and good but we’re just negotiating price at this point.”

    • JMAshby

      He is utterly anti-war and comes from a family of anti-war activists and people who took social justice and war protests to the streets and had Philip Berrigan over for dinner.

      From my perspective, that family history makes this worse.

      President Obama ended the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan is on the draw-down. 33,000 troops will have returned from Afghanistan at the end of this month. The opposition party wants more war. The Democratic party wants to end the ones we have. Most Americans want to end the ones we have and do not wish for more.

      I think there’s a point where you’re just hurting your own cause rather than “keeping them honest.” And this kind of navel-gazing discussion, which is only loosely based in reality, does more to serve Mitt Romney, who would without a doubt attack Iran, than it does to serve a message of peace.

      Is it fair to lump him in with others? If he associates himself with them, and they are his vehicle to gain exposure, then maybe it is. This is a standard that anyone would be held to.

      It’s a shame, and disappointing, because I enjoyed his films before he revealed that he takes queues from Greenwald. Now I seemingly can’t stand them.

      Even if I have some sympathy for him because he’s been incensed by Greenwald’s hyperbolic rhetoric on drones, its drowned out by the consequences of the 2010 election.

      • Joy H.

        I do understand your point about this hurting his cause, and Romney’s inevitable trajectory toward Iran. The only thing at all remarkable about Romney’s speech was his very loud saber rattling. I also noted another poster’s comment about the real world consequences of this vote to immigrants, women, and poor people without safety nets–that this is not some noble intellectual exercise with no recriminations. I do think it’s important to note that at least in this article Cusack stops short of telling people to not vote for him (Turley doesn’t), and I DO think it’s ok on some level for people with a staunch anti-war view to bring these things up when it would be most logical for them to get some traction (before a vote). To be fair, when are they supposed to talk about these things?

        I don’t think I personally could live with myself, however, if I, through my personal influence, got 100,000 people to vote in a way that will have real world harmful consequences in service of just *one* political ideal. As we have seen, in places like Florida, and with massive voter disenfranchisement under way all over, that many votes could change history. One day Cusack responded to me on Twitter about something. The next day I had 150 new followers.

        There are many vital, social justice, life saving issues at stake here–not just the civil libertarian ones. I am guessing more Americans will die of health care and poverty related issues in the next year than drone attacks or assassinations. Doesn’t mean we should ignore it–or call him a Firebagger and dismiss him. That’s wrong because he is not in any way motivated by the act of tearing down the President. He is motivated by THIS ISSUE. Hamsher and Greenwald make a living off of tearing down the POTUS and seeming like renegades. I’d be willing to bet they wouldn’t even advocate for a protest vote, since they’d most likely be out of work and broke if the President lost.

        Cusack is a smart man with lots of political access: I AM SURE he could start a foundation or 501c in short order and get an important audience without advocating for revolution against the most progressively efficacious President in nearly a century. I think he is still turning it over in his mind, what to do about it, but I might be wrong. I hope he uses his intellect and influence to take this issue up in a way that will also allow us to keep moving Left. But then, I don’t believe in the efficacy of revolution, only in good timing.

        • JMAshby

          You and I don’t necessarily disagree on anything, you’re just more optimistic than I am.

          If his machinations actually turn into anything other hand-wringing, I’ll eat my hat.

        • ranger11

          It’s fine that certain people have their own issues and fight for them. But what about the “big tent” concept? There are some issues that I’m not 100% on but I’ll go along because we’re all in the same boat. But it seems like some people throw the baby out with bathwater. What about the poor, civil rights, voting rights, economic rights, etc.? To hell with all of us because of one or two pet issues? Thanks a lot purity dudes!

  • JozefAL

    What some folks apparently forgot is that, when Obama ran as the “anti-war” candidate, he was talking about IRAQ (aka “Dubya’s Folly”). Of course, these people also conveniently forget that as far back as 2004, he made a speech that essentially endorsed what Dubya had been doing in Iraq. Only in late 2007 did he start “bragging” about how he was “against” the decision to go to war with Iraq (which was very convenient since he had no way of actually going ON THE RECORD with a vote; he was still serving in the Illinois Legislature in 2002, and state legislators do NOT vote on war issues–never have, never will) primarily to distinguish himself from Hillary (of course, Hillary’s *real* crime was to uphold her promise to the people of New York and serve a full term before making any future plans to run for President; her vote on the war had nothing to do with it at all–if the “left” had REALLY wanted an anti-war candidate, they would’ve backed Kucinich and ignored the junior Senator from Illinois).

    Now, having posted all that, I have a luxury that many liberals/progressives don’t. I live in Alabama (hence the “AL” part of my screen name) and there is absolutely no freaking way in Gehenna that Obama will capture more than 45% of this state’s vote–and considering that Alabama has gone for the GOPer in all but two elections since 1964 (in 1968, the state voted for Wallace, running on the “states rights” American Independent Party ticket, though Wallace was a Democratic governor; and in 1976, the state voted for Carter), the state is extremely safe for Romney. So, I can afford to “waste” my vote. I’m not a fan of Obama (I wrote in McKinney in 2008–she may have been a bit of a “loon” as a Congresswoman from Georgia, but she was a fighter who took no guff from anyone and stuck to her guns when she believed she was in the right) but I also know this country CANNOT survive a Romney/Ryan administration and the “disappointed” progressives need to understand that. Sure, four more years of Obama may be pretty tough going, especially if the GOP holds the House and takes the Senate (or merely manages to gain a couple of seats–we’ve already seen how problematic the GOP have been with their present Senate minority by forcing so many votes to need 60 votes to pass, rather than the simple majority that should be needed, so just think how much more intransigent they’d be with 48 or 49 seats) but this country will simply NOT be the same country we’ve known and even loved for the last 80 years if the GOP takes the White House. EVERYTHING instituted by FDR will be swept away (well, at least for those of us under the age of 60; the 60-plusers will keep their goodies–at least until the GOP decides the seniors have outlasted their usefulness*). And all those “small businessmen” the GOP trotted out to prove how they “did build” their businesses will find how quickly they lose their businesses when they have no customers who can afford their goods and services (as well as losing their own lifelines to things like government contracts and business loans–the latter of which is typically insured by, who else, the government).

    (*I was going to write “outlived their usefulness” but thought better of it. The GOP will still feel that way, but it just seemed unnecessarily hateful in context.)

  • JMAshby

    I place absolutely zero worth in the words of Cusack. A guy who decides he’s offended one day and then becomes an overnight expert.

    I’m not going to go back and source all of it, but he has said a copious amount of stupid shit on Twitter over the least two years, and it’s all professional-left boilerplate yanked from the ass of Glenn Greenwald. He’s like Matt Damon in that he read something somewhere on a far-left blog and then decided he knows everything.

    They need up put a fucking bandaid on their skinned-knees and actually contribute to a constructive discussion on policy or shut up.

    It’s good that you took the time to debunk him, but if it didn’t fall on deaf ears I’ll be shocked.

    Some people can’t put that bottle of kool aid down, and before you know it, they’re truthers.

    • nicole

      He’s a damn firebagger/emo prog, and as per usual, they’re up to causing election problems because they just do not understand that they are not the arbiters of truth or justice.

      If they cost Obama the election, the rage will be enormous.

  • Lazarus Durden

    This is why I can’t stand these so-called intellectual purists on the Left. They are just as bad as the Tea Party. In fact I don’t even want to give them points for a valid argument on a single issue. You can make a point about foreign policy in one specific area. Good for you!

    What about all the other policies? What about all the other facets of life? Do you really think walking away and making a protest vote will help anything? Elections have real world consequences. They matter. This isn’t some abstract exercise. For poor people, immigrants, women, and everyone who doesn’t have a safety net like both Cusack and Turley cutting social programs matter. Having no other economic option but to enlist in the military because a hedge fund shipped your job overseas matters. I can’t stand these people. Call them well meaning, or even misguided but to me they’re out of touch assholes who can’t fathom what means to live paycheck to paycheck anymore.

    • nicole

      Well meaning……..I have my doubts about that.

      In some cases (Hamsher & Greenwald, for example) I firmly believe it’s primarily about the page hits/money.

  • i_a_c

    I think it’s good that are people like Turley who care about civil liberties and call out the things they see. But the problem is that they’re absolutists and there is no room for practicality in their arguments. Politics? Don’t talk politics with these people.

    Turley complains that Obama and Bush use the law flexibly, as a means to an end. The most frustrating part about this is that he compared Obama to Bush, and not to just about every president in history. We have never had a president that has put civil liberties above politics or anything else. Hopefully the left remembers that their icon FDR interned and executed American citizens with no due process, not even habeas corpus. I will agree that Obama has taken–let’s call them shortcuts with respect to the absolutist civil libertarian point of view, but his approach is hardly unprecedented. Not even close.

    The al-Awlaki stuff drives me up a wall. Honestly I have a whole lot of difficulty taking anyone seriously who complains about how poor Anwar was deprived of due process. If there was ever any room for nuance for the civil libertarians, I think a case could be made that the al-Awlaki case is rather unprecedented. It’s the first time (possibly the last) in this nebulous war against al-Qaeda that an American has taken up arms against his country and become an illegal combatant by hiding among civilians in Yemen. But the fact that he’s a citizen is the only determining factor for the civil libertarian crowd. The guy’s in Yemen plotting attacks against his own country and we’re not allowed to shoot first? Absurd. We shoot citizens every single day in this country if they are a clear and present danger. No due process, no Miranda warning, no nothing. Turley apparently wants us to send special forces into Yemen and capture al-Awlaki for trial, though I’m sure that if we did that, they would complain about violating Yemen’s sovereignty.

    Finally, it’s not all about Obama. A lot of stuff is, but some of it is not. The president tried to close Guantanamo but was overruled by passing a defense funding bill that blocked funding by huge majorities. NDAA? Passed by a veto-proof majority. Upset by the fact that the president has such wide authority in the war against al-Qaeda? Convince Congress to amend or repeal the 2001 AUMF. You’re crazy if you think that the president is going to turn down powers granted to him by Congress or SCOTUS. If we get attacked and it turns out the president could have done something about it, his career is over and legacy ruined.

    So a little perspective, historical and practical, and yes, political, is necessary.

  • rob black

    CUSACK: Obama is far more of an imperial president than Bush in many ways, wouldn’t you say?
    TURLEY: Oh, President Obama has created an imperial presidency that would have made Richard Nixon blush. It is unbelievable.

    Oh god…really?

    I didn’t read this article when I saw the headline at huffpo, because I knew it would piss me off, and that it did.
    There are so many false parallels and false equivalencies in this discussion, it might as well be an interview of Dick Cheney done by Glen Beck.
    I used to respect Turley as a constitutional scholar, but when you start saying the Obama administration’s refusal, or frankly just lack of prosecution, of members of the Bush administration for war crimes, is an affront to the Nuremberg laws you are living in another universe entirely….and that is no defense of the Bush administration, it is just acknowledging the actual world we live in.
    Try for one second to imagine the country if that had happened. This administration is being accused by both the right and apparently the left of being “an imperial presidency”, dragging Rumsfeld or Cheney, as much as they may deserve it, into court and prosecuting them for war crimes would be depicted as nothing short of a “retroactive coup”. As heinous as their actions were, they were acting as legally elected representatives of this country, and I might add, had congressional support. That is two of the three branches, so would all the congressman who knew of whatever laws they were accused of breaking be indicted as co-conspirators? The justice department hasn’t pursued any prosecutions on that front because it would be impossible. It would effectively be saying the entire previous administration was an illegal and illegitimate government, and would have plunged us into a chaos normally seen when dictatorships are overthrown.
    Bin Laden, Al quieda and to some extent, even American citizens abroad, working with those organizations were and are “stateless combatants”. They attacked us on our own soil, and continued to plan further attacks, and hide wherever they wished. They are not Germany, they are not Japan, and trying to apply laws and treaties, designed to deal with war against other nations to them is not only pointless, it is dangerous. It is the very false principle that got us in to Iraq.
    The Bush administration claimed any nation harboring them (or which ever one the administration is willing to attack) is at war with us, and uses it as an excuse to launch a full scale military campaign against that nation. Would they (Turley or Cussack) rather we now be at war with Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia?
    This administration’s tactic of going after those “stateless combatants”, in whatever nation they are hiding in, without declaring full scale war against that nation, is the only solution that will work in the 21rst century.
    Oh…and by the way, since Cusack and Turley claim killing Bin Laden was an “assassination” or a “hit”, because it violated some aspect of the constitution (he should have been captured and brought to trial instead) but the same principles must be applied as you would to a head of an enemy state, then I guess we would have had to prosecute Eisenhower if one of the thousands of bombs we dropped on Berlin would have made through the walls of Hitlers bunker?
    It is a new century, with new enemies, and we cant go to war with every country that harbors those who would attack us, and we cant capture and prosecute every one of them either.
    P.S. Obama, in his campaign, said he would go after and kill Bin Laden (I believe McBain called him “naive” for saying it.) I didn’t hear anyone on the left objecting to it then, and after 6 years of “he’s not that important” or “..I don’t really think about him”, I damn sure didn’t object. If Turley or Cusack didn’t like that idea, that would have been the time to speak up, not after Obama did what few running for president do: He kept his promise.

    • i_a_c

      You touch on a point that I didn’t. Bin Laden should have been captured instead of killed? Ridiculous. There is no legal rationale for that argument. Under the currently existing law, the AUMF, bin Laden was an absolutely legal military target. It wouldn’t have mattered if he were killed by a bullet or hellfire missile, except for the potential ramifications with Pakistan.

      • rob black

        I knew that would come up as soon as I heard he had been killed and not captured, and again recently when it came out that he was probably unarmed.
        Again, imagine the world in which he was captured and brought to trial. The republicans would have insisted he be tried by a military tribunal, probably at Guantanamo (and would have politicized the entire thing, some how to the presidents disadvantage).
        The process would have taken months if not years, during which time he would have been deified on the Arab street….and the entire middle east would have exploded on the day of his execution.
        Turley complains this president treats the law as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Turley’s theory works in some sort of abstract construction of a world without politics or geopolitical consequences for actions. It is not now, nor has it ever been a world that ever existed.

        • i_a_c

          Bush invaded entire countries and captured suspected terrorists to throw them in Guantanamo indefinitely to await their military tribunal, or not. Sort of counter-intuitively, Obama has chosen not to mess with that legal gray area and has elected to take them out instead. Nobody–at least nobody relevant–thinks that killing legally declared enemies of the United States is in any kind of gray area.

          • mrbrink

            Bush and Cheney found torturing a captive human being in indefinite detention in the constitution like it was common knowledge. They also believe we should be forcing women to have their rapist’s babies. The Republican party are the rape and torture party. They’ve put it into writing and defend it to this day. That’s an entirely sadistic interpretation of the constitution and war powers than one that applies smart power to isolate and take out known terrorists according to a code of justice we’ve been practicing for centuries: “Surrender! and face justice.”

            But I must have missed the part in that whole discussion where they evaluate the consequences of allowing trillions of dollars in global power-shifting resources that reside in the hills of Afghanistan to fall exclusively into the hands of pissed off head-chopping women stoners. Or the consequences of seeing religious fanatics overthrow the Pakistani government and seize control of their nuclear arsenal.

            I wish they had a better argument than a few historical quotes and a vote-suppressing agenda to pretty much move on from comparing Obama to Bush(they’ve already decided that there’s no credible dispute) to comparing the tactics and intentions Obama to NAZIs and Communists by injecting that quote from Winston Churchill and their whole case carries on from that point like reading a book aloud in the dark without a reliable flashlight.

            “It’s obvious he hates the constitution because he doesn’t care about it” is the the thrust of their argument. They have no context, no references other than some loose quotes, and looser interpretation of the recent history of geopolitics.

            It comes down to smart power vs. dumb power and there’s absolutely no comparing the two competing ideas of America’s role as a security apparatus.

            They’ve given no indication they have any clue about why we’re really in Afghanistan, and go so far as to assume, quite cynically and naively, and without any supporting evidence, that this administration is using a declared war in Afghanistan to funnel the treasury to military contractors on plastic-wrapped pallets never to be accounted for again. And to kill American citizens!

            “Obama hasn’t gone after Bush/Cheney people for war crimes and so therefore president Obama is a war criminal” is probably the most ignorant argument I’ve ever heard throughout any of this.

            Hold the president’s feet to the fire for ? Sounds like commentary for the reasons why we’re all here today at this cross burning.

          • i_a_c

            They’ve given no indication they have any clue about why we’re really in Afghanistan

            Oh yeah. Cusack himself said that he has no idea what we’re doing there.

            CUSACK: And this also speaks to the question that nobody even bothers to ask: what exactly are we doing in Afghanistan now? Why are we there?

            Either he’s an idiot, willfully ignorant, or deliberately dishonest. All plausible if you ask me.

          • ranger11

            For something that happened eleven years ago. What was that again? I think it begins with a 9 and then another number. They can’t be this dim, can they?

    • hanadora444

      Oh, God, I just love that “imperial presidency” blather. If anything, the last four years have shown us un-imperial any presidency is when the other side single mindedly sets out to obstruct anything the president tries to do. It’s amazing that Obama accomplished as much as he did under extraordinary circumstances.

      • mrbrink

        Successes= Failures!

  • KQµårk™

    The left is naive about politics and war. For one thing politics is war and in wars you have three types of people allies, enemies and people that can be persuaded. Progressives don’t understand that all their allies and persuadables are in the Democratic Party. The right realizes this and that’s why they always coalesce around election time. So like you said when the far left leaves the Democratic party they need to persuade move voters in the middle or even center right to stay relevant. The right just wants to win because if they win they control the political narrative. It’s the grand vision of what’s good for the country at stake not ever separate issue. We’ve been living in the Reagan greed is good and guvment is bad era because the left fails to understand this.