Yes, that one member of the audience crossed the line a week ago by asking Chelsea about her take on the Lewinsky scandal. But since she is a campaign surrogate speaking on her mom's behalf, she isn't immune to all scrutiny.
During a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Chelsea Clinton falsely claimed that her mother was the first person to call the situation in Darfur a "genocide."
Actually, it was Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) who first spoke about genocide in March of 2004. Clinton said nothing about genocide before then, and it wasn't until May of 2004 when she finally supported legislation that condemned the situation there.
Earlier this week, in an interview with the New York Times, Barack Obama laid out a foreign policy that called for bilateral discussions with Iran regarding the dismantlement of its nuclear program. Apparently that was not good enough for Rudolph Giuliani. The former NY Mayor wants a more combative approach with Iran -- regime that has grown more powerful ever since the start of the war in Iraq, which Giuliani supported:
"This may be one of the few areas in which I agree with HillaryClinton," Giuliani said, "that Barack Obama in this area shows a greatdeal of ???¬??? a great deal of inexperience and very, very na????ve. This islike, you know, begging your enemy to negotiate with you. You don???¬??t begyour enemy to negotiate with you; you change the leverage."
Begging your enemy? This is your typical example of what it means to 'build a straw man.' They teach this in philosophy:
Straw Man: A made-up version of an opponent???¬??s argument that can easily be defeated.
At least we know beforehand what kind of campaign Rudolph Giuliani will run.
Barack Obama said: "We've got to get the job done there and thatrequires us to have enough troops that we are not just air raiding villages andkilling civilians, which is causing enormous problems there"....Hedidn't mean the soldiers were doing this on purpose, he was referring to the"cluster-F**K" that was going on, and it needs to be handled.
John Kerry said: "Education, if you make the most of it, you studyhard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."...He didn't mean the soldierswere stupid, his reference was to George Bush, figuratively speaking Bush ISstuck in Iraq (and is about as sharp as a bowling ball). Kerry supports thetroops in an unconsciously competent way (he doesn't have to even thinkabout it)
When you listen to the conservative commentators and media, they usuallyparaphrase it as "Obama said our soldiers are bombing and killing innocentpeople" and "Kerry called our troops dumb" (Sean Hannitypractically ANY night of the week)
Now let's take a look at Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark. Ithink we need to pick this apart to try and get an understanding of who Limbaughwas referring to.
CALLER: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to realsoldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to themedia.
RUSH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER: Phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they're proud toserve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they'rewilling to sacrifice for the country.
RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.
The caller is clearly talking about actual soldiers. The "phony soldiers"appear to be soldiers that don't agree with the war, or veterans that speak outagainst the war. Conservative commentators may have spoke too soon when theysay Rush was referring to the people that aren't or weren't soldiers at all, butscammers. I say spoke too soon because according to Rush (even though he did say"soldiers) what he meant was:
LIMBAUGH: I was not talking, as Contessa Brewer said here, about the anti-warmovement generally. I was talking about one soldier with that "phonysoldier" [Comment: he dropped the "s"] comment, Jesse MacBeth. They had exactly what I'm going to playfor you. This is Michael J. Fox all over again. Media Matters had thetranscript, but they selectively choose what they want to make their point. Hereis -- it runs about 3 minutes and 13 seconds -- the entire transcript, incontext, that led to this so-called controversy.
Note is drops the plural. He refers to the transcript running about 3 minutesand 13 seconds...Rush edited 1 minute and 35 seconds out of it. Listen to hisedited radio broadcast HERE(transcript can also be read at the same link). For any conservatives that wouldlike to cross reference the typed transcript, it can also be found at Rush'ssite, or from the conservative blog WakeUp America.
I truly believe Rush meant any serving soldier or veteran that is against thewar and speaks out against it as one of the "phony soldiers". I saythis because it seems to be a trend among conservative commentators, radio showhosts etc. For example Melanie Morgan, when she was on The News Hour with JimLehrer and subsequently got banned from that show for her viciousness towardsJon Soltz. The post with videos can be viewed at 'MelanieMorgan banned from 'The News Hour with Jim Lehrer'.
Once again, listento the broadcast Rush replayed and read along either HERE(shows where edit starts and ends), HEREor HERE.
This morning, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said it himself:
"The reasons we went to Iraq are well understood and had to do with[weapons of mass destruction], enforcing U.N. sanctions. To the extentthat oil has anything to do with our engagement in Iraq today, it isthe danger that al Qaeda could obtain control of oil assets and usethem to threaten our interests.???¬??
"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."
So the White House really thinks al Qaeda is going to take over the oil in Iraq? The terrorist organization neither has the capacity nor the force to seize and hold Iraqi oil installations. What Tony Fratto said was a miscalculation at best, and a deliberate lie at worst.
Al Qaeda is still amassing along the Afghan-Pakistani border. No wonder the terrorist organization wants us to remain in Iraq.
This morning on Meet the Press, as he debated Senator John Kerry, John McCain claimed that an Iraq report released a few weeks ago did not conclude there needed to be political reconciliation before military progress. McCain, along with Bush, think it's the other way around -- that you need military progress first, then political stability. But on the Sunday news program today, McCain deliberately misinterpreted the report:
Last night, President Bush tried to get his nationwide audience to believe that the mission in Iraq is about to enter a brand new phase:
???¬?Yet those of us who believe success in Iraq is essential to oursecurity, and those who believe we should bring our troops home, havebeen at odds. Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing inIraq, we can begin seeing troops come home.???¬??
I would not be surprised if by the end of Bush's presidency this quote goes down as the most misleading statement of the last eight years. In those two sentences lies George W. Bush's free ticket to pass this crisis on to the next commander-in-chief. Even after next summer, troop levels will be no lower than 130,000 -- same as in 2006, a year in which more than 800 young men and women lost their lives.
The troop surge has simply exhausted the military of its reserves. The Army is so overstretched that the NAVY is now training in infantry tactics. There are no more troops to send. That is why Bush is drawing down forces by 30,000 next summer, including 5,700 by the end of this year -- but not because we are winning. If we were winning, there would not be 1,000 attacks per day, as there are now.
In the coming weeks, the President will ask Congress for more war money. This is where Congress ought to put its foot down. No money unless it is tied to a bill that safely redeploys all of our soldiers out of Iraq, and eliminates the possibility of future bases inside the country. Unless we change course now, at least another $150 billion will be spent before Bush leaves office, and more thereafter when the next president, hopefully a Democrat, pulls them out.
Please call your Senators and House Representative in your district. Tell them not to spend another dime on this war unless it is tied to a rapid withdrawal plan.
Let's make a few things clear about President Bush's 9 PM ET address to the nation. He will announce the redeployment of 30,000 US troops by next summer, including 5,700 soldiers by the end of this year. In a nutshell, between 130,000 and 135,000 troops will remain in Iraq until the end of his presidency. That is not a course change. It is yet another swindle that could cost another one thousand American soldiers their lives between now and January of 2009.
Also, what we are talking about here is not even a legitimate withdrawal. The military is stretched to a breaking point, and the President does not have anymore troops to send. So, he has one of two options:
Reinstate the draft. Thus Sparking a major youth protest movement in this country that would ensure the erosion of Republican Party support among the younger age demographic for an entire generation.
Let the surge run out when no more troops are available, and then declare success.
In the end, especially with this White House, it all comes down to politics. Therefore, Bush will choose the former, not the latter, and use a slight change in troop numbers to reinforce the phony notion that the mission was a success.
Lastly, John Edwards had the courage to buy two minutes of airtime on MSNBC during the first commercial break after Bush's speech. It is courageous because we all know that Edwards, compared to Obama and Clinton, is having trouble competing in terms of money. Yet, he is looking beyond potential primary voters, and is paying for airtime so that he can speak to the entire nation. No, not just voters in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Not just to potential undecided progressive voters. He will speak to everyone -- voters and non-voters alike. When you make the mistake of voting for maybe the most disastrous war in US history, you had better try your absolute hardest to set it right and prove to taxpayers that you learned your lesson. Since 2006, Edwards has done just that.
As for Bush, he will wait it out until January of 2009, and hand this mess to the next commander-in-chief. Tonight, when John Edwards calls on Congress to end this war, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had better be listening.
Throughout the two long days of hearings, a number of GOP lawmakers criticized a MoveOn.org ad that challenged the credibility of General David Petraeus, who is the front-man for Bush's latest public relations push to continue the war. MoveOn is just one of many progressive activist groups that considers Petraeus as partial to the White House political strategy team.
So is Petraeus fair game? Presidential historian Richard Kohn says conservatives shouldn't be shocked when people don't believe what Petraeus says, especially since the general does Bush's bidding:
Any credibility problems that Gen. Petraeus has are partly his ownmaking--because he allowed himself to be pushed forward by theadministration as kind of a front person for them and has been engagedin a constant dialogue with the press since he went to Baghdad. Had hebeen much more quiet, got on with fighting the war and told people towait for his report to Congress, it would have been less likely that hewould have had to suffer these attacks in the press and from Democraticsupport groups.
President Bush no longer has Karl Rove. Tony Snow is leaving as well. He needs a new PR guy to sell the war. The Administration is trying to wait this war out until the end of this term. Without Petraeus to hide behind, Bush would be in trouble. So when progressives criticize the general, it is no surprise that Republicans go nuclear. Petraeus is the very last guy they have to parade in front of the cameras.