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View Diary: Bob Gates the Ingrate (166 comments)

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  •  And this is why he could slash the miltiary budget (27+ / 0-)

    Because by ending all the foreign interventions, drone bombings, troop deployments, and USOC secret missions, he has been able to divert that money into creating jobs by spending on infrastructure, reinforcing the safety net, and other liberal programs.  It is such a relief to have a liberal in the WH and see all our dreams coming to pass.  Finally, a sharp break with decades of US imperialism.  /snark

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:54:15 AM PST

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    •  What I like about (20+ / 0-)

      Obama is that unlike Bush, he doesn't believe in the wars he wages. So refreshing, so liberal.

      •  I see Gates' credibility (0+ / 0-)

        waxes to the extent he criticizes Obama and wanes otherwise?

        Gates' account proves no such thing:  he writes that Gates thought Obama didn't believe in the war policy because he was upset during a meeting.  

        I think it can be both the case, however, that Obama didn't have complete faith that the plan would be totally successful at meeting objectives that would be measured by what happened in the future, but did have faith that other plans would be worse.  Bob Gates doesn't tell us that, just that he didn't like Congress or some of Obama's NSC staffers and thinks Obama's foot-dragging on DADT repeal was insufficient or inconvenient.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:14:42 PM PST

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    •  Obama came into office burdened (4+ / 0-)

      with war being waged on two fronts, enormous debt, and a Republican Party riddled with the toxic Tea Party element. This element has intruded into congress and blocked every positive initiative the president and Democrats have attempted. The president was a junior senator who lacked the years of alliance-building enjoyed by a member of congress like LBJ, so legislative maneuvering has proven difficult (an understatement).

      And he came into office telling us we had to have his back for him to accomplish anything. Obama has always been very clear on this, and he was let down by his Party and by us, as we failed to deliver congress to him in 2010.

      I'm no Obama apologist, but I do not think the president has had much support for the more progressive elements of his agenda.

      Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

      by 4Freedom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:37:36 AM PST

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      •  Well... (7+ / 0-)
        Obama has always been very clear on this, and he was let down by his Party and by us, as we failed to deliver congress to him in 2010.
        Sounds like you're blaming voters for failing to be adequately motivated by those asking for their votes.

        Are you going to tell me there wasn't a little bit of a messaging problem on the part of Democrats prior to the 2010 mid-terms?

        Summer 2010 kinda sucked, IIRC.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:54:22 AM PST

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        •  Democrats had and have enormous messaging (0+ / 0-)

          problems. For one thing, Democrats don't run media. Media is mostly run by some of the most conservative elements of corporate America, be those owners American or foreign, like Rupert Murdoch and Sheikh Walid Al Ibrahim of Saudi Arabia.

          Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

          by 4Freedom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:21:20 PM PST

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      •  He chose to reject progressive policies (5+ / 0-)

        that could have made it easier for him to solve first term problems.   It's difficult to find any sympathy for him when he deliberately chose a difficult path that yielded poor results.

        If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:01:07 PM PST

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      •  I disagree with you, but even if you're correct (6+ / 0-)

        It still remains that the absurd claim I responded to--that Obama used Gates to change US foreign policy dramatically, including cutting the military budget--is typical of the patently false claims that have been made about Obama from the beginning.  The seeming army of people ready to say ridiculous things in response to those of us who wanted to "have his back" on actual progressive policies or, when appropriate, to "force him" to work toward what we wanted (something he also asked us to do), those of us attempting to do this have been undercut, marginalized, and attacked by such absurd statements throughout the Obama presidency.

        Two mutually impossible claims are being made at once--that Obama has enacted all kinds of liberal change, including brilliantly using Rep Gates to cut the military, and also that Obama has not done these things and that it's all the fault of, guess who, the progressives who would like to see the military budget actually cut in real life.

        I would find it easier to have an honest discussion with you about why Obama has been such a dreadful disappointment if you would explicitly agree that the initial claim is laughably delusional.  Unfortunately, such claims have not been unusual.

        Someone suggested that it would be interesting to see what people calling Gates a narcissist and an ingrate (weird how not one decent person has ever criticized Obama) were saying back when Obama appointed Gates and people like me were screaming about it.

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:18:04 PM PST

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        •  It was an absurdist proposition to claim Gates (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geomoo

          was one of Obama's eleventieth hour chess master moves. Gates was an inheritance that could get easily reconfirmed under trying circumstances. Republican obstruction of administration appointments guaranteed trouble ahead if the critical defense appointment was controversial.

          I think Obama is an appeaser and compromiser, which was why he was promoted to office in the first place. His allegiances were known, and his loyalty to centrist positions has always been apparent to those of us to his left.

          We may dream that we would be permitted a leader with a more leftist bias, but that is what that is, a dream. Until politics is run without massive dollars attached to political office, we will continue to have a drift of corporatist hacks that represent the interests of their sponsors more than they do vox pop.

          This situation can be altered, but the deck is stacked against change in many significant ways.

          Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

          by 4Freedom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:13:12 PM PST

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          •  I knew we could have a real discussion. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4Freedom

            Thanks.

            I love your sig line.  I just started in on one of the four volumes of Orwell's collected essays, newspaper articles, and letters.  It's amazing that he used to be in newspapers.  It would never happen today.  Really good stuff.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:59:18 PM PST

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            •  Gates is an interesting figure. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              geomoo

              He's smart and complex, and knows the Beltway game backwards and forwards. His sort are one of the main reasons I know I would never thrive in the DC environment. I'm far too blunt. I appreciate your diarying on this, because he's a seminal figure in recent US history.

              Orwell is a writer I greatly admire. After college, my trip to Europe had to include a visit to Barcelona because of Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia". The Spanish Civil War was the fascists' try-out for WWII. The poor commies were mowed down like wheat.

              Many a young radical was disillusioned, much like today's Occupiers.

              Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

              by 4Freedom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:32:50 PM PST

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      •  ummm... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpecialKinFlag

        Last time I checked Obama came into office with a majority in the Senate and the House.

        •  He did, but that majority was negated (0+ / 0-)

          by DINOs. There are Democrats who never met a military appropriations bill they didn't like, and Democrats from areas like upstate NY and areas of the South and West where they have to have a more conservative posture to be elected than they do elsewhere.

          I wish it was as black and white as R vs D, but there are layers of complexity.

          Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. ~ George Orwell

          by 4Freedom on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:59:52 PM PST

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    •  Gates was against the Lybian intervention, (0+ / 0-)

      was against going into Pakistan to take out OBL, was for ending DADT, and cancelled an expensive pork-barrel fighter-jet program.  What more could the pacifist left want out of a Sec of Def?  Total unilateral disarmament?

      I don't give a rip about Gates, but this diary and the comments are very shallow and just lame generally.

      •  "The pacifist left" (4+ / 0-)

        You don't count yourself among them, I take it.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:27:55 PM PST

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      •  Gates called Obama's going into Pakistan . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpecialKinFlag

        . . . to "take out" (murder in cold blood) OBL a "courageous act".   Apparently he wasn't that much against it.  There is some ground between spending more on the military than the  next 12 countries combined and total disarmament.  It is in that middle ground that serious people would be willing to engage discussion without such absurd statements as I responded to.  Of course, if I don't agree that Obama brilliantly changed foreign policy and cut the military budget, then obviously I must be for unilateral disarmament.

        These two comments could stand in for how real discussion has been blocked for the duration of Obama's presidency.

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:44:01 PM PST

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