Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Bad Mother

I've spoken before about the murderous misogyny of the A-List Blogger Boyz and their grad school mentality, as well as hinting at the ways in which the up is down, right is wrong, truthiness over truth feel of the current campaign cycle is something they encourage, but the spousal unit brought up an aspect of the "We Hate HER!" bash-fest that I had overlooked. Here it is.

It's all about Iraq and their own guilty consciences.

Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Mark Kleiman, Kevin Drum, and any number of other high profile bloggers were all rah-rah war supporters when it first began. They had no real reason to support it besides wanting to kill people and get some revenge. They were reading the New York Times and Judith Miller and gulping the White House kool-aide as avidly as they gulp Obama's kool-aide today. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, we gotta get Saddam! They swore by Colin Powell. If Powell said there was proof, well, by golly, that was good enough for them.

At the same time, Congress was actually having to make a decision about authorizing use of force. The weapons inspectors wanted back in, and Hans Blix approved of the maneuver to show Saddam Hussein the West meant business, that we weren't tied down in Afghanistan too much to give him trouble.

I didn't trust Bush a second on this, but I could also see that there were legitimate reasons to get inspectors into the country, not the least of which was to make Saddam look weak to his own population. There was also a principle about the balance of power between the Congress and the President - the President must ask for military powers and, when justified, the Congress will grant them. These are powers that a Democratic president is going to want as well. This was the power that Bill Clinton needed to intervene in the Balkans and would have needed for Rwanda. He asked. The Republicans in Congress told him to fuck off.

Part of Hillary's calculation to authorize the use of force (nor was she alone in this calculation) was forward looking to when Bush is not in power and when there is a Democratic Congress. The crude power grabs for imperial power we see from the Bush White House, fully backed by the Movement Conservative dominated Republican Party have illegitimately expanded presidential powers and in ways that cannot be ignored. The formal exercise of power must be defended; the bounding and limiting, but also structuring and supporting, insitutions of liberal democracy are refounded every day in the proper exercise thereof. You can't just make it up as you go along. (That's why "hope" and "audacity" are not governing principles, let alone an operational plan.) You have to insist on the rules, even when the other person is trying to cheat - or demolish the rules entirely.

The greatest weakness of the Democrats in Congress, in my opinion, is that they are not "working to rule" like any good union boss knows you should do.

Anyway, Hillary acts with others to authorize force if Saddam does not comply with the terms of the UN deal for reasons that have to do with politics, rule of law, and trying to put limits on Bush, as well as being under enormous public pressure to kill some towel heads as revenge for 9/11. Like pressure from the Blogger Boyz, who were slobbering and bouncing up and down in anticipation of a glorious little war, bitching about the UN's attempt to slow things down, and really wanting to go get Saddam. Bush thumbs his nose at the COngress and the UN and orders an invasion anyway. The boyz all cheer.

Then the war goes tits over teakettle and they realize that they are on the losing side of the argument. They are guilty as hell for having brought their considerable intellectual talents to bear on promoting an unjustified war and they want to blame someone else for their bad judgment. I know, Hillary made me do it! She should have been a better mommy and kept me from indulging in my murderous desires! Bad Mommy! Bad!

The fact that she will not join in their villification of her, refusing to be badgered into admitting that she made her decisions on the same basis as they did (reasons they project onto her), saying clearly that she made what she thought was the right decision at the time, drives them even more batshit insane. They want Mommy to kiss it and make it better and she said tough luck, kiddos, learn to live with your mistakes. They want someone else to take on their guilt, to relieve them of their sins against the body politic, and she is not going to let them off the hook. Their fanatical identification with Obama in no small part is because of their wishful thinking that if they glom onto someone who denounced the war when they were beating the war drums, this someway, somehow, will absolve them of their trangressions.

Um, no, it won't. I was opposed from the start, I know what you guys said and what a bunch of blood-thisty little bastards you were, and how your desire for war had no political or ethical foundations that could bear up under scrutiny. I know HRC made a bad decision for perfectly sound reasons, and I have heard enough from her to know that she herself is not going to do such a thing. Quit projecting your own moral relativity and temptation to use violence to get your way - well on display in your attacks on her and in the behavior of the campaign you are supporting - and face up to the fact that your judgment was fucked up then and it is fucked up now.

There is only one person responsible for invading Iraq and his name is George W. Bush.



Anonymous said...

Good post. I well remember how surprised I was that the very people I expected to be the most against war were the most blood thirsty. The whole 8 years of Bush's reign have been filled with cognitive dissonance of the worst kind. This was in no small part because so many people were suddenly speaking against the very principles they had long championed. And I think you are very right that they are being reflected in this election. Hillary gives them a convenient place to dump their anger, because they also have all the misogyny they've never dealt with. I don't recall all this anger at Kerry or Edwards, both of which also voted for the war resolution. But then, of course, they were men.

Anonymous said...

damn - you completely rock. This is so spot on. I know b/c i'm one of those guys. Only difference is that I admit that I got snookered and am not looking to pawn off my own gullibility on anyone else. Reading TPM for years, it's clear that Josh & gang are just dripping w/ anger toward HRC b/c she's a reminder of their (and my) own stupidity and blood lust gone amok. Voting/promoting/idolizing Obama is, for them, how they apologize for Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Read the post entitled "Lost". John Marshall has gone bat-shit crazy. He's blaming Hillary for Rev. Wright:

gendergappers said...

Of course they blame Hillary for everything - men have always blamed women for their mistakes since that damned apple got poor Adam in trouble and it was all Eve's fault. Now they will blame her for Rev. Wright's 20 or so years with BO.

What a powerful person she is to have so much influence! Facts are that BO with his own words has proven himself to be a liar. The people in the church and other ministers have come fwd to say that Wright said things like that at nearly every sermon. BO claims to have been a regular church goer so he did hear that stuff. This goes to his character and judgment - both shown to be immature and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

cognitivedissonance...actually I read a report in the past couple of weeks that Barry Obama actually downplayed Kerry and Edwards vote...the exact same vote that Hillary cast - during the 2004 campaign.

He obviously can't remember the boyz a pass on the same vote; what Rev. Wright has screamed at him for the past twenty years, etc.

Anonymous said...

Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Mark Kleiman, Kevin Drum, and any number of other high profile bloggers were all rah-rah war supporters when it first began.

And Matt Stoller. I protested the war long before it started. It's not just mommy issues and war guilt. I've always said the progressive blogosphere is extraordinarily racist so they're overcompensating for their white guilt so their racism could cost us the election. I don't have a white guilt problem bc I'm not white and simply like Clinton.

Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy said...

Right on, sister!

Anonymous said...

It's true that I supported the war at first, though I think any fair reading of my posts at the time would suggest that my support was reluctant, not "rah rah." However, I've always liked Hillary Clinton, I've written several times about how the obvious misogyny among her critics drives me nuts, and I've certainly never engaged in Hillary-bashing myself. I don't quite get why I'm on this list.

Anonymous said...

They got mommy, war guilt and white guilt problems. If they don't face their problems, we all got problems.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Here's what I think for what it's worth ( not much ) but your blog is so fun. If I had been Hillary weighing in on the information provided to the congress by the administration, in those shell shocked political hours I would have been forced into the proverbial hot spot between scylla and chabrides. Now I would have carefully gone over what information I was given, consulted my peers both within my party and without. I would have discussed what I could ((these were sensitive times) with friends and others I respected from the previous democratic administration, ( Pres. Bill ) and I would have weighed all that with not only the national interest, but as a senator from New York with the peculiar interests of the constituancy I was elected to represent. I would have taken into account the fact that Tony Blair was trumpeting this war as much as any other. I would have weighed alot of complicated factors and like Sen. Clinton pobably voted the way the majority of the congress did. Her vote probably had as much to do with containment in afganistan as it was with anything else. It was a package deal and was presented as such. No one would have expected the mis-management given the Cheney- Rumsfield record up to that time. No-one expected the complete fabrication of evidence. People seem to forget that even Blair was fooled.
The simple truth is that Obama and none of the rest of us had to make that decision; only those members of congress. She won't apologize because given the circumstances she voted in the most responsible way. I was alway skeptical especially when Powell made his case to the UN and the linkage of Al Queda and Saddam Hussein. I remember looking at the french, russian, german diplomats and their reactions to Powell's evidence. The yellow cake evidence seemed so official. But the simple truth is, I was no more privy or responsible than Obama was when the time came to vote. I admire her refusal to apologize. I believe she is committed to ending the war. Unlike Obama, she is'nt pandering. The information that was used as justification for the war in Iraq has been proven to be fraudulent. The incompetent and criminal execution of this war gives impetus to HRC advocating a change in policy and action.
I understand how she a senator from New York might have a particular obligation to her voters since 9-11. Her concerns will broaden more if elected to the presidency. Obama was a local who claims opposition to the war that are contradicted when you take in other statements and actions during this time. It's easy to forget those times, and easy to judge harshly those that did what they thought was right. This is Bush's War. It's not Bill Clinton's, the Democrats or Sen. Clinton's. Bush is the leader of the Republican Party and that is who is responsible. Obama knows this and does'nt care. Obama will say whatever he can to get the nod, and the Republicans will say what ever they can to keep their seats in congress and Bush et,al. will say what ever they can to avoid accountability.