Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

We Have a President

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU
 
HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:18 PM
Original message
We Have a President


http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/20...

The news that Obama has refused to sign off on any of the four major options presented to him] in Afghanistan reminds me of why he was elected president. This critical decision - arguably the most critical of his young presidency - is one that will not be rushed the way such decisions often are. His insistence that the civilian branch truly control policy there and that empire not be passively accepted as a fait accompli are real signs of strength in the struggle to recalibrate American foreign policy. Can you imagine Bush ever holding out like this on the military? Or for these reasons:

Administration officials said Wednesday that Obama wants to make it clear that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan is not open-ended.


The stunning honesty of Eikenberry has undoubtedly concentrated minds on the core pillar of any counter-insurgency strategy: the Karzai government. But, of course, no options have been closed off yet:

The White House says Obama has not made a final choice, though military and other officials have said he appears near to approving a slightly smaller increase than McChrystal wants at the outset.

Among the options for Obama would be ways to phase in additional troops, perhaps eventually equaling McChrystal's full request, based on security or other conditions in Afghanistan and in response to pending decisions on troops levels by some U.S. allies fighting in Afghanistan.


What we are seeing here, I suspect, is what we see everywhere with Obama: a relentless empiricism in pursuit of a particular objective and a willingness to let the process take its time. The very process itself can reveal - not just to Obama, but to everyone - what exactly the precise options are. Instead of engaging in adolescent tests of whether a president is "tough" or "weak", we actually have an adult prepared to allow the various choices in front of us be fully explored. He is, moreover, not taking the decision process outside the public arena. He is allowing it to unfold within the public arena. Others, moreover, are allowed to take the lead: McChrystal, or Netanyahu, or Pelosi, in the case of Af-Pak, Israel-Palestine and health insurance, respectively. Obama encourages the process but hangs back, broadly - and persistently - pursuing certain objectives without tipping his hand on specifics or timing.

So the troop question is rather like the public option question.

Obama's position - almost a year into his presidency - is yet to be revealed. The president waits, prods, allows the parties to reveal their hands, and keeps his final detailed position to himself. By allowing the debate to continue in public, he also tries to get the public more, rather than less, involved. So we too get to show our hand as the debate continues. And the polls show Americans pretty evenly - and understandably - divided on the excruciating and ultimately prudential question of what to do next.

What strikes me about this is the enormous self-confidence this reveals. Here is a young president, prepared to allow himself to be portrayed as "weak" or "dithering" in the slow and meticulous arrival at public policy. He is trusting the reality to help expose what we need to do. He is allowing the debate - however messy and confusing and emotional - to take its time and reveal the real choices in front of us. This is politically risky, of course. Those who treat politics as a contact-sport, whose insistence is on the "game" of who wins which news cycle, or who can spin each moment in a political storm as a harbinger of whatever, will pounce and shriek and try to bounce the president into a decision. And those who believe that what matters in war is charging ahead regardless at all times will also grandstand against the president's insistence on prudence.

But he won't be bounced and his concern seems to be genuinely to do the right and the most sustainable thing. Which is a kind of strength we haven't seen in a president since Reagan.

(poster's note: He had me until "Reagan" :rofl:)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. I was going to post the same thing
Edited on Thu Nov-12-09 03:22 PM by Hutzpa
but stop short, because i saw this;

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/1109/deadline_f...

Damn! you're good..... :P



:kick: & Rec
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. hehe
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. I really enjoy most everything Andrew Sullivan writes. He's very
Edited on Thu Nov-12-09 03:23 PM by babylonsister
eloquent, and I enjoy it even more when I agree with him. This I agree with. :thumbsup:

Edit to add, I love that pic, too!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. It takes a great deal of political courage to hold strong against the
almighty "news cycle". This particular imperviousness is VERY impressive. He should hold out until he knows what everyone else is holding.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
5. Change the last word, and it's spot on.
:thumbsup:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. I know..just one
word and it's perfect!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. The outcome is uncertain, but I do appreciate his decision-making process. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I read that as -- desicion making prowess
lol
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Funny how Freudian slips work. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. My thoughts too. Yes, we have an adult President
using an adult decision making process. About time. But I fear we are still on course for a bad decision on Afghanistan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. kick for an adult president
great to have after 8 years of the boy king
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
impik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. Andrew GETS Obama better than almost any blogger
He just gets him and it's almost always a joy to read. And what's most impressive to me: Even though Andrew is as pissed as anyone at the president over gays issues - He never let it cloud his overall judgment. I have the utmost respect for him.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Andrew is English(?) Right?
nuff said.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. He's the one who likened Obama as candidate to the Roadrunner vs Wile E. Coyote last year
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/and...

Andrew Sullivan really does seem to have a good insight.

And I don't quibble with the Reagan assessment, solely because Obama himself said that Reagan was the president who influenced him most (or something like that)--which infuriated Bill Clinton.

Hekate

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. oooh yeah I need to read that, thanks
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Rec'd n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
vaberella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. I think something needs to be understood.
A lot of people on DU don't care if he's a considerate President. Because if he makes the decision to send in more troops, it would drown out the "struggle" some of us may see Obama has with sending troops. I've come to realize this on the board. They don't care about ANY underlying issues we may be privy too or not...it's ONLY about what they think is right. So if a good number of people on this board believes we should leave Afghanistan in the mess that we helped bring it into...and not send in troops---and this the ONLY way to go for us. They don't give a fuck about what Obama may have been thinking, of his reasoning (however if it was Kucinich----they would await his reasoning and positively rec it). It just doesn't matter to some.

Personally, I don't know what I want Obama to do, but I would like to know his reasoning and if it's rational then I'll see how that goes. I personally want us out but then I'm not about to let us turn Afghanistan into what we did to Pakistan and Grenada 30 years ago. Because then Obama would be as equal as Reagan and Bush.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. I wish I could rec your post. Preach Vab! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Agreed, and I'd also like to add
that deep down, I know that Obama doesn't want to have to send troops AT ALL. He really cares for our servicemen and women. And he doesn't want ANY of them in harms way. But at the same time, he feels he has to do what he thinks is best according to the information he's been given. But what makes me feel encouraged though, is that he's not just accepting anything he's been told. He's forcing his generals to go back to the drawing board. To me, that's an excellent sign.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. I'll kick this. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. Dont mind the Reagan reference......
.... it's a compliment.

They obviously differ in political philosophy, but the WAY they do things are very similar. The difference between using his power for good instead of evil. ;)

Plus, they both look good in a cowboy hat...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. Right..it was a good thing he
put reagun at the end 'cause it was good up until then.

I didn't know much about reagun at the time but from what I've read ..he seemed to be a puppet guy.

Andrew Andrew Andrew.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BREMPRO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. very thoughtful Op-ed. Sullivan shines a light on the real story
rather than reflecting the superficial strawman of Obama created by the corporate media and by many bloggers. I'll give him a pass on the Reagan, because the rest is spot on.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. The thing I love about Sullivan is that he doesn't let his ideology get in
the way of his thoughtful and reasonable opinions.

Thank God more Republicans aren't like him. Otherwise, we'd have a strong oppo party.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 16th 2014, 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion: Presidency Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC