Saturday, August 23, 2008

He has to win now, right?

GWS's favorite senior Senator from Maryland was tapped for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination. The term "experience" gets thrown around far too much, but Joe Biden's long tenure on the Foreign Relations Committee ought to balance out the intricate decision-making involved in parachuting over North Vietnam and deliver the White House for the Dems. Biden's performance in the Democratic debates had GWS swooning, and even geniuses like David Brooks think he's the man for the job.

Obama has to win now. He's got the white-haired foreign policy maven behind him, and Biden's old Dem credentials should carry Obama through the Rust Belt.

We hope.

So say we all.


Anonymous said...

Oh good god.

First, he's from DELAWARE not Maryland. ("Google, this is GWS. GWS, this is your best way not to look like a knob. Use it.") Putz.

Exactly what makes you think that Biden is a clincher? His pick shows the weakness of Obama's central theme that judgment outranks experience. Tom Bevan's take on it is concise:

"The question is whether Biden's foreign policy credentials will help shore up Obama's perceived lack of experience in that department or, as some have suggested, merely highlight Obama's weakness by contrast. Some are equating the pick to Bush's selection of Dick Cheney in 2000. But again, Obama has spent the last 2 years discounting the experience of folks in the Bush administration, discounting the experience of Hillary Clinton, and now discounting the experience of John McCain by saying that what matters is judgment, not the number of years someone has spent in Washington. Obama's pick belies that notion, especially since the core of Obama's "judgment" argument centers on his opposing the Iraq war from the beginning. Joe Biden voted for the Iraq war."

As an aside, no one parachutes over North Vietnam anymore because it no longer exists. The betrayal of the American Left helped the North conquer the South and end the Vietnam War. You may have read about it in your history books as it is plainly obvious by your lack of both Judgment and Experience that you aren't old enough to have been alive during it.

Jen S. said...

Hey, I even knew he was from Delaware -- and I'm from Canada...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and now the fun begins in Denver. Here's a link to some photos of the Re-Create 68 march that happened. My favorite is the second photo of the sign that reads, "Humanity needs revolution and communism - not a new face on the same brutal empire." LOL

Yet another group of kids too young to realize they are the next generation of Useful Idiots.

Yes, yes, by ALL MEANS, let's have another go at communism. Which would not be ANYTHING like putting a new face on the same brutal empire. No, no. Uncle Joe wanted only the best for all those in the Gulags. LOL

For me, the irony of this statement sums up the protesters as nothing more than the intersections of teen angst and substandard public schooling.

Great White Snark said...

1. D'oh! Good lord that's embarrassing... My apologies, and the putz label is justified.

2. I don't think it's true that Biden's tenure in the Senate means he has poor judgment; there's nothing to say that Biden can't be both experienced and judicious. I think Biden will be a clincher because, frankly, I like Joe Biden---like him a lot. Like his work on the Foreign Relations Committee, like the essays I've read over the past few years, and loved him in the Democratic debates, where I thought he routinely bested all comers. I think Biden is a student of world politics and someone who can deal with complex, nuanced situations. He has a keen understanding of the limitations of American power projection, which I think will be important as our country tries to dig out from its current situation.

The fact that "some," in Mr. Bevan's words, "are equating the pick to Bush's selection of Dick Cheney in 2000," is 1) an inapt copmarison, and 2) an interesting use of the word some (care to give us any names, Tom? Or does it just sound better if you leave it undefined?). First of all, Cheney headed Bush's VP search committee, and after reviewing all the evidence, decided he was the best guy for the job---the same can't be said for Biden. Secondly, Cheney's "experience image" is different from Biden's: Cheney was coming from Poppy Bush's administration and then years at the helm of Halliburton, while Biden's spent most of his adult life in the Senate. Cheney came with a more executive edge, while Biden presents a better elder statesman facade. I don't think that Biden's selection highlights any of Obama's weaknesses, but then I didn't think Obama really needed the help convincing people he knows foreign policy in the first place. I like Joe Biden in no small part because he's not going to offer much of an electoral upswing, which tells me that Obama picked him because he did, in fact, think Joe Biden was the best man for the job.

Obama's argument about McCain's judgment can still stand, because while Biden & McCain both voted for the war, they took a very different approach to the reconstruction of Iraq. Early in Paul Bremer's disastrous tenure in Iraq, Biden called for a soft partition of the country, which is sort of what happened despite our efforts to the contrary: he recognized the Kurdish control of the north was de facto, that the Shiites would control the south come hell or high water, and that as long as we weren't going to commit more than 150,000 or so troops, there wasn't much we could do about either of those realities. I wish I could point to any similar point of good, wise, or prescient judgment in Iraq by McCain.

3. Vietnam! Wow, clearly we have very different views of world history. North Vietnam beat the South for a lot of reasons, but America's presence in that civil war wasn't doing anything but killing a lot more people. The South Vietnamese governments were corrupt and hated by the average Vietnamese, and even when we acknowledged that unavoidable fact and assassinated Diem (overstating my case? Fine, then we left him to his fate with ARVN generals who we knew would assassinate him), we only revealed how much the fate of the South was already beyond our control. As Vo Nguyen Giap later said to Robert McNamara, "We never would have stopped fighting." The Vietnamese had been fighting the French for half a century, and the Chinese for a thousand years before that, and if Barbara Tuchman's to be believed, the US's belief that it could do better than either of those powers ranks as one of the greatest acts of imperial folly in world history. The "betrayal" of the American left has nothing to do with a conflict that we insisted was part of the Cold War and that the Vietnamese insisted was a civil war.

As has been the case in Iraq since 2003, I have to ask what would have constituted victory in Vietnam and what we ought to have done to achieve it. But I'm much more interested in what victory is supposed to look like in Iraq, if only because I have yet to hear what has to happen for us to be able to leave. Unless the plan isn't for us to leave?

Regarding the Re-Create 68 garbage, I have to say that those idiots don't speak for me: the 1968 Democratic convention was, how you say, a shitshow. I don't have a clue why they'd try to conjure up images of a disorganized Democratic party getting beaten by Chicago cops. Revolution AND communism! Sweet! Brah!

"Hippies...they wanna change the world but all they do is sit around and smoke pot all day..." -Eric Cartman

Let the flame war begin!

Anonymous said...

Here is a good retort to Biden as a clincher for Nobama.

"However, Biden is a more complicated (and more competent) study than his running-mate. Other commentaries on Biden have rehearsed Biden’s common knowledge faults: his well-detailed history of plagiarism, loquaciousness, self-absorption, and recent criticism of Obama’s record. So, too, will this one (eventually). But let’s begin with Biden’s alleged strong suit: national security and foreign policy. "

Read on if you wish.

Again, your assertions are incorrect. I didn't say his tenure meant he had no judgment. I said it puts the lie to Obama's assertion that years in government are not as important as inherent judgment. In this case, Biden would be the antithesis as his main claim is experience from decades in office and his judgment fails Obama's test because he voted for the war. Your rationale that his decision to vote for it was fine because his approach to reconstruction was different makes no sense at all.

How they deal with the aftermath does not change the decision to go in to begin with. You cite his wanting to split the country up as good judgment of the situation yet, like most liberals, you fail to take into account the facts on the ground. When he proposed it, the Iraqis resoundingly rejected his "sage judgment". Once again, hypothetical argument falls before reality's facts.

However, as the article points out, Biden's experience gives him good position to make judgments, but like all people, he's not always right. It’s fairly balanced in that regard.

I do not say Biden is a negative to the ticket, perhaps he was the best choice of the short list, but that is a far cry from being the clincher you hope him to be.