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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony Archive » Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Agenda (Page 2)
Author Topic: Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Agenda
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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quote:
[The Democrats] still lack credibile heavy-hitters in foreign policy and diplomacy; those from the past (Holbrooke, Albright, Brzezinski, etc.) are not willing to put themselves on the line to support a Democratic foreign policy agenda -- at least publicly.
This is confusing - you mean the Dems have no foreign policy "heavy hitters" (whatever that means) in Congress? Or as Presidential candidates? If the latter, the most likely Republican nominees have no foreign policy experience either,* and have pretty serious problems with the Republican base, to say the least.

As for Holbrooke, Albright and Brzezinski, as far as I know all three support the early withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. What other elements of the Democrats foreign policy agenda (Do they even have one? Are they required to have one after only 3 months in control of Congress?) are they not on board with?

quote:
[F]oreign policy incompetence will continute to be the Democrats' achilles heel. They just don't have it together in that regard.
Well that's one way to look at it. Another way is: that Bush & Cheney's actual "foreign policy incompetence" so greatly exceeds the assumed incompetence of Democrats that you get poll results like the following:

quote:
Who do you trust to do a better job handling the following, Bush or the Democrats in Congress:

The situation in Iraq - Bush 34% Dems 54%
The U.S. campaign against terrorism - Bush 39% Dems 52%

Obviously nothing is certain, but I think the 2008 election is the Democrats' to lose, even if Hillary is the candidate.

*I wasn't counting Gingrich, who apparently is thinking of running for President despite approval ratings in the 20s. As I pointed out in the first post in this thread, he has some foreign policy experience, in the form of a history of undermining executive branch policy while he was Speaker of the House. So there's that.

[ 04-09-2007, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I'm still waiting for evidence - of any kind whatsoever - that Pelosi was "making Democratic alliances" in Syria. Anyone?

[ 04-09-2007, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Freya
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quote:
Anyone?

Clearly Grimwolf had dinner with a Syrian government official who told him about Speaker Pelosi's secret plans for donating half the US budget to Syrian terrorists. No names can be mentioned here for political reasons - obviously []
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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That notion was actually manufactured by Mr. If-You-Believe-in-God-You-Must-Vote-Republican.

[] Hey! [] Potential GOP slogan.

E: Oh! I get it! The mysterious anti-Pelosi historian. Good one. []

Sorry, I'm a bit slow today. []

[ 04-09-2007, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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More Republican hypocrisy? OK . . .

quote:
In 1997, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) led a delegation to Colombia at a time when U.S. officials were trying to attach human rights conditions to U.S. security assistance programs. Hastert specifically encouraged Colombian military officials to “bypass” President Clinton and “communicate directly with Congress.”

…a congressional delegation led by Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) which met with Colombian military officials, promising to “remove conditions on assistance” and complaining about “leftist-dominated” U.S. congresses of years past that “used human rights as an excuse to aid the left in other countries.” Hastert said he would to correct this situation and expedite aid to countries allied in the war on drugs and also encouraged Colombian military officials to “bypass the U.S. executive branch and communicate directly with Congress.”

Here.

And now Republicans have the gall to criticize Pelosi for violating the principle that U.S. officials must speak with one voice on foreign policy matters? Except that no one with direct knowledge of Pelosi’s meeting with Syrian officials — Pelosi, the members of her bipartisan delegation, and the State Department — has suggested that Pelosi communicated an incorrect or inconsistent message to the Syrians, or that she misrepresented Israel's position vis-a-via negotiations with Syria.

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Imbëar
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Nice try, WT.
I never said you should vote Republican.
I'll rephrase: How can a believer in "God" vote for a "Godless" Party?
Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

Imbëar

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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It's equally moronic either way, but we're very impressed with your laughing smiley. [] []
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Roll of Honor pi
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some questionable from #3
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), third most powerful person in the USA.

"First Bush cut taxes for the rich and the economy has rebounded with new record low unemployment rates, which only means wealthy employers are getting even wealthier at the expense of the underpaid working class".
She went on to say "Despite the billions of dollars being spent in Iraq our economy is still strong and government tax revenues are at all time highs. What this really means is that business is exploiting the war effort and working Americans, just to put money in their own pockets".
When questioned about recent stock market highs she responded "Only the rich benefit from these record highs. Working Americans, welfare recipients, the unemployed and minorities are not sharing in these obscene record highs". "There is no question these windfall profits and income created by the Bush administration need to be taxed at 100% rate and those dollars redistributed to the poor and working class".
"Profits from the stock market do not reward the hard work of our working class who, by their hard work, are responsible for generating these corporate profits that create stock market profits for the rich.
We in congress will need to address this issue to either tax these profits or to control the stock market to prevent this unearned income to flow to the rich."
When asked about the fact that over 80% of all Americans have investments in mutual funds, retirement funds, 401K's, and the stock market she replied "That may be true, but probably only 5% account for 90% of all these investment dollars. That's just more "trickle down" economics claiming that if a corporation is successful that everyone from the CEO to the floor sweeper benefit from higher wages and job security which is ridiculous". "How much of this 'trickle down' ever get to the unemployed and minorities in our county? None, and that's the tragedy of these stock market highs."
"We democrats are going to address this issue after the election when we take control of the congress. We will return to the 60% to 80% tax rates on the rich and we will be able to take at least 30% of all current lower Federal income tax payers off the roles and increase government income substantially. We need to work toward the goal of equalizing income in our country and at the same time limiting the amount the rich can invest."
When asked how these new tax dollars would be spent, she replied "We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed, and minorities. For example, we have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits taxes could go a long ways to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as ‘Americans’."

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Imbëar
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Pi,
are these Pelosi quotes?


Imbëar

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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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WT:
quote:
This is confusing - you mean the Dems have no foreign policy "heavy hitters" (whatever that means) in Congress? Or as Presidential candidates? If the latter, the most likely Republican nominees have no foreign policy experience either,* and have pretty serious problems with the Republican base, to say the least.
They have no real statesmen among their ranks with strong foreign policy experience. And if there are some waiting in the wings, they're likely holdover desk chiefs and deputy assistant whomoevers from the Clinton administration, which had one of the least competent foreign policy agendas I've ever witnessed. It was at its worst under Carter, though.

Coupled with the Dems' traditional ambivalence toward extending and strengthening US power abroad, and it's no wonder why they are sorely lacking in this regard.

BTW, a "heavy-hitter" is someone like Brzezinski (full disclosure: I'm a big fan and I used to work for him) who has a combination of expertise, vision, and experience to help guide this fractious country in the international arena. Or at least articulate in a meaningful -- and that's the key word here -- way what the US should be doing and why vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

quote:
What other elements of the Democrats foreign policy agenda (Do they even have one?
Good question -- do they? I don't see it except for some wishy-washy post-Iraq talk about security, the old bromides about multilateralism, and "it takes a global village" crap. At least they're talking about energy alternatives but frankly, they're not exactly spelling out what we should be doing in this regard.

quote:
Are they required to have one after only 3 months in control of Congress?) are they not on board with?
They should have always had one, even when they weren't in control Congress. Especially when they were in the political wilderness. Usually foreign policy comes from the executive fount; I suppose one might argue that because the Dems have not held executive power for several, of course their foreign policy muscles are weak. Maybe. But we need a very, very robust international strategy, and there's no one that I can see who can help pull it off.

Sometimes inaction is worse. Look at our record in the 1990s: Bosnia, Rwanda, and frighteningly, the embassy and USS Cole bombings.

quote:
Well that's one way to look at it. Another way is: that Bush & Cheney's actual "foreign policy incompetence" so greatly exceeds the assumed incompetence of Democrats that you get poll results like the following:
Actually, when it comes to foreign policy, Bush/Cheney have proven to be highly effective and competent, and perhaps the most competent in recent history. Internationally, they have achieved precisely what they set out to do. It just so happens (and your poll numbers bear this out) that many Americans believe it's not the way the country should be going.

So what happens? Pelosi apparently feels that she can turn the 2006 victory and poll numbers like the ones you presented into a mandate to go on sort of "Nixon goes to China" trip. Why? What was her objective? Did she even know why she was going? It doesn't look like it, except to go because she could. My question is, what fool on her side let her do this? []

[ 04-09-2007, 08:37 PM: Message edited by: Silmahtar ]

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Talan
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*sigh*

I've created a monster...again...

I wonder how alot of you would debate if you didn't feel like the other guy was just trying to one-up you...

Bulletin boards are a poor venue for political debate largely because, fueled by a mixture of near-absolute anonymity and the ability to misrepresent oneself (sadly something that happens whether people intend to or not) BB members turn every debate into a **** measuring contest. It generally goes this way:

1. You don't want to look like a fool.
2. You know that if you give a reasonable opinion (ie, leaving open the possibility that you may be wrong), your opponent will attack you in order to make you look like a fool. He'll use your admission of fallibility to make you look uninformed, and thus, irrelevant.
3. Therefore, you must both create the impression of self-assurance ("I'm right, and I'm sure of it") as well as using snideness and sarcasm to portray your opponent as a fool ("Here we go again, Captain Neocon/Bleeding Heart is spewing his bull**** opinions as usual, and I am the voice of reason!")
4. And so, the two party system perpetuates itself, because in order for the other side to be absolutely wrong and idiotic, your side must clearly be absolutely right and enlightened.

The Republicans are, in fact, wrong about things. That doesn't make the Democrats right. And visa-versa. They're both political entities built largely on greed, power and the desire to make oneself feel big by making others feel little. A politician's position is rarely based on altruistic motives. I don't believe the crap people try to sell me when they say, "Oh, both sides really believe everything they say; we just have to respect each other's opinions." Not so. In fact, we shouldn't always respect each other's opinions, and many people don't. Where they really go wrong, though, is that they have far too much respect (read as "conceit") for their own opinions.

Pelosi is a sleazebag. So are any number of Republicans (Yes, that's right, Dick Cheney and Bush too. Pretty much every Republican or Democrat. The only reason I prefer Giuliani is because he doesn't go running to defend every Republican position). Hell, so is most of Congress. My problem is that our automatic reaction is to run to our "side's" defense, instead of saying to ourselves, "Well, I don't like the person who said this and I sure as heck don't agree with them most of the time, but maybe they're not completely wrong on this. Maybe they're right for the wrong reasons, but maybe, just maybe, they're right."

And that's why nobody ever wins these political debates--nobody is ever right! Because in defending any politician consistently, you're going to be wrong just as often as you are right. Maybe more. Why? Because politicians are not in the business of doing the right thing consistently.

WT, what exactly do you have against Imbëar? Imbëar, what exactly do you have against WT? If you answer honestly, you might realize that if you both agreed on the issues, you'd be alot more forgiving of the other's flaws...flaws which, in the absence of political and ideological disagreements, you might be willing to completely overlook.

The fact is, I think you're both threatened by one another's opinions. And why? Because the stupidity of human society dictates that you've got to be on one side or the other. If you back down, "they" win. And by association, you lose.

Me? I like both of you. A great deal. Know why? Because I see past your political opinions. I couldn't have survived on a liberal campus if I wasn't able to realize a person's virtues, and value those virtues above their differing political and religious beliefs.

That's just my two cents.

But I admit, I may be wrong.

[ 04-09-2007, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: Talan ]

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Silmahtar – first of all, where/when did you work with Brzezinski? That is very cool.

quote:
Actually, when it comes to foreign policy, Bush/Cheney have proven to be highly effective and competent, and perhaps the most competent in recent history. Internationally, they have achieved precisely what they set out to do.
You're going to have to explain this one. They "precisely" set out to ignite a bloody Sunnni-Shia civil war in Iraq and create a permanent state of extreme danger as between Iran and Iraq? I thought the neocon doctrine vis-à-vis the Iraq invasion was that it would be an impetus to democratic reform in the Middle East. I don't see how that has happened at all; arguably, the pre-reform movement in Iran has actually been set back. Why do you say they've succeeded?

quote:
What was [Pelosi's] objective? Did she even know why she was going?
According to a Haaretz article, the immediate objective was to relay a message from Israel intended to reassure Syria that Israel was not planning a summer attack. Israel was concerned about a Syrian attack on the Golan Heights begun as a result of a "miscalculation" on the part of the Syrians with respect to Israel's intentions (like what happened last year). And as I said earlier, the Bush administration won't speak to Syria at all, and has ordered Israel not to. I'm sure she didn't expect some sea-change to result, and I'm sure it won't

If you want to view it as some idiotic move on her part, that's your privilege; I don't agree. Your question as to "who let her go" is pretty condescending, given that (by one measure at least) she's the third highest ranking member of the U.S. government. And was it also idiotic on the part of the Republicans who also visited Assad?

E: A recent AP poll showed that 60% of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling foreign policy and the "war on terror", including 39% who strongly disapprove. Doesn't prove they're right of course, but I think they are. (Mak, I know you basically conceded this point; I'm just throwing it in because it was in the news this a.m.)

E2: Speaking of Holbrooke, he appeared on Meet the Press and responded to the charge by David Gregory (of the SCLM) that the Dems were conducting a "shadow foreign policy":

quote:
David. David. They're not pursuing a shadow foreign policy. They're making trips to the region. The Republican group had gone out before her. She had Republicans on her group. Congressmen are supposed to travel to understand better how to spend the taxpayers' money, which is their responsibility... I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion by a deliberate ambush plan by the opposition, in this case the Republicans, and frankly, exploited by journalists who are just looking for a fake controversy. There is no issue here. Congressman Wolf, a major Republican, was in the region a few days earlier. Republicans were on her trip. There's no issue. None.


[ 04-11-2007, 06:35 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Talan, that post of yours nearly brought a tear to my eye. []

Guess I'd better get started on earning a relevant degree and publishing a paper with dozens of references to back up my opinion... []

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Talan
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It's not about finding facts that support your opinion. It's about allowing your opinion to conform to the facts. We don't all have time to sift through the tomes of information it takes to verify every facet of our political opinions, but when new information is presented to us that is contradictory to our prior assertions, we should be willing and able to adapt. But that requires both a certain degree of humility and the ability to dispassionately weigh information, neither of which is common in a "Fear Factor" society that values fame above morality and feelings above truth.

To paraphrase Professor Kirke, "Don't they teach logic in schools these days?" []

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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It sounds to me like my assigned part was to blame Pelosi for screwing up, and since I was unwilling to do so (for reasons I've explained), I'm a mere partisan.

OK.

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Roll of Honor pi
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Imbear
Well, that's what my brother-in-law said when he emailed it to me.

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Keeping citing those poll figures, WT. [] The Peace of Nicias was popular, too. []
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Talan
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I don't have time to post right now, but WT, I assure you, I'm not trying to single you out just because you and I disagree. I'll get back to you as soon as I get the chance.
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Meh. Let's just agree to disagree. I'm sure you have more important things to do, and so do I. []

I would like to hear from Mak, however, the answer to the obvious question: what did he call Brzezinski when he worked for him? Zbig? Dr. Z?

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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Sorry, I'm catching up from having been away for a few days -- and delayed getting back b/c of the East Coast storm (the first two flight cancellations), and human stupidity courtesy of US Airways (the third -- yes THIRD -- cancellation).

Anyhoo, I was one of Brzezinski's staff/research assistants at a think tank back in the 90s. When addressing him we called him Dr. Brzezinksi (and kudos to those like myself who could pronounce it correctly... [] ); otherwise he was known as "Zbig".

Back to topic:
quote:
You're going to have to explain this one. They "precisely" set out to ignite a bloody Sunnni-Shia civil war in Iraq and create a permanent state of extreme danger as between Iran and Iraq? I thought the neocon doctrine vis-à-vis the Iraq invasion was that it would be an impetus to democratic reform in the Middle East. I don't see how that has happened at all; arguably, the pre-reform movement in Iran has actually been set back. Why do you say they've succeeded?
I believe they set out to formulate, conduct and maintain a highly unilateralist foreign policy -- one that co-opts Congress, doesn't answer to the electorate, and completely ignores the UN. Secondary to that is the so-called neocon internationalism -- democratization -- which, when you look at places like Iraq, has failed. However, I believe that's just fluff the Administration puts out there to make it seem like they're being altruistic. Actually, it's about as self-serving as US foreign policy can get.

quote:
According to a Haaretz article, the immediate objective was to relay a message from Israel intended to reassure Syria that Israel was not planning a summer attack.
Do you really believe Israel needs Nancy Pelosi to send a message to Syria? They have their own back channels and have for decades. Besides, I don't see why the Israeli government would entrust her with something like that. No, I believe she thought she could throw some weight around as the No. 3, make some headlines back home and thumb her nose at Bush. But it backfired and made her look more like an amateur.
quote:
Your question as to "who let her go" is pretty condescending, given that (by one measure at least) she's the third highest ranking member of the U.S. government.
Not even No. 3 would make such a politically-sensitive trip without first consulting advisors. Unless she's more foolish than I thought. Or they told her to go, which reinforces my view that the Dems are still out of touch regarding foreign affairs.
quote:
Speaking of Holbrooke, he appeared on Meet the Press and responded to the charge by David Gregory (of the SCLM) that the Dems were conducting a "shadow foreign policy":
One of my classmates, BTW (David Gregory, that is... Not Holbrooke. [] )

As for Holbrooke's denial, he's not stupid. It is contrary to the Constitution for a member of Congress to conduct foreign policy. So Holbrooke back-pedaled on the question, but yeah, that's what it was. What else could it be? She needed the sun? []

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Thanks for your reply.
quote:
Do you really believe Israel needs Nancy Pelosi to send a message to Syria? .. . I don't see why the Israeli government would entrust her with something like that.
Notwithstanding your incredulity, Pelosi did convey a message from Olmert; Olmert's spokesman confirmed this. Olmert's (later) complaint was only that Pelosi didn't convey the necessary conditions (Syria must renounce terrorism, etc.) as part of the message, not that she invented a mission he never approved.

By the way, Pelosi says that she did relay the message accurately (with the required conditions about renouncing terrorism), and the Republican Congressman who accomapnied her confirmed this.

quote:
What else [other than "conducting foreign policy"] could it be? She needed the sun? []
Well, one other thing it could have been was conveying the message from Olmert to Assad, which isn't necessarily "conducting foreign policy" - though I understand you believe that it was. Since you seem to believe that Congress lacks any legitimate role vis-à-vis foreign policy (I don't, and certainly the Constitution doesn't expressly say that), I assume that you would also condemn Gingrich's and Hastert's actions during Clinton's presidency?

In any case, we're not going to agree on this, which is fine.

I note in passing that despite the mainstream media ooh'ing and ahh'ing (and conservative pundits waxing apoplectic) that Pelosi had committed a major faux pas, her approval rating (already higher than Gingrich or Hastert ever achieved) actually increased after her trip. [] []

[ 04-19-2007, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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