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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-07-13 10:25 AM
Original message
Obama taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA
Jan 7, 8:34 AM EST

Obama taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA

Here's hoping Republicans block Hagel the Homophobe. I heard at least ten Democrats might vote against him, too.

I notice in the MSM news coverage, very little is said about the left's objections to his vicious homophobic thuggery, only about the right's objection to him because he is suppposedly not sufficiently pro-Israel.

And then, there's Brennan, supporter of both "enhanced interrogation" and drone killings. And an expert in use of the revolving door.

Change we can bereave in.

Can someone wake me if Obama nominates someone good?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-07-13 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. You will rival Rip Van Winkle.
I'm not in favor of anyone that supports "enhanced interrogation". What are we, fucking Nazis?
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not saying I disagree with your position. But I will offer this as counter
But for other progressives, concerns over Hagel have nothing to do with Israel. They have instead expressed two unrelated objections: (1) back in 1998 -- 15 years ago -- Hagel voted against James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg on the ground that Hormel, as Hagel put it, was "openly, aggressively gay" (for that concern, see Barney Frank, who completely reversed himself on Hagel from two weeks ago, and Rachel Maddow); and (2) Hagel is a Republican, and Obama should nominate a Democrat in order to show that Democrats are capable of running the Pentagon and military policy (see Markos Moultisas and Daily Kos).


When it comes to LGBT equality, 1998 is a different universe. Virtually no prominent Democrats (let alone Republicans) supported marriage equality back then, or even equal rights for LGBT citizens. In fact, Hagel's comment came only two years after the overwhelming majority of Democratic Senators voted in favor of the truly odious and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act -- including Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Pat Leahy and Paul Wellstone -- which was then signed into law by Bill Clinton. That law not only defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but barred the federal government from issuing any spousal benefits -- immigration, tax, death benefits -- to same-sex couples. If you're going to judge politicians by how they felt about LGBT issues 15 years ago, be prepared to scorn almost every national Democratic Party hero you have as a bigot.


So yes: like virtually every prominent politician in both parties, Chuck Hagel had primitive and ugly views on gay issues back in 1998. But shouldn't the question be: does he still hold these views or, like huge numbers of Americans, have his views evolved since then? Hagel has apologized for what he said, an apology which Hormel accepted, graciously noting: "I can't remember a time when a potential presidential nominee apologized for anything ... Since 1998, 14 years have passed, and public attitudes have shifted -- perhaps Senator Hagel has progressed with the times, too." Moreover, Hagel last week also vowed that he is "fully supportive of 'open service' and committed to LGBT military families."


The openly gay foreign policy insider, Steve Clemons, has known Hagel for years, and two weeks ago wrote in the Atlantic that "Chuck Hagel is pro-gay, pro-LGBT, pro-ending 'don't ask, don't tell.'" Beyond his policy views, Clemons recounted personal incident after personal incident that completely negates the accusation that Hagel now harbors bigotry toward gay people.

Given how progressives assess other politicians, why should Hagel not be forgiven or at least be given the benefit of the doubt? Look at what Democrats are willing to forgive and forget. They swoon for Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, who in 2002 voted to authorize George Bush's attack on Iraq, surely a far worse offense than Hagel's ugly comments about Hormel. They overlook Biden's obnoxious 2006 comments about Indian-Americans and Obama's patronizing and sexist use of "sweetie" to dismiss a female reporter in 2008. They adore the top Democrat in the Senate, Harry Reid, who opposes a woman's right to choose. They even forgave long-time Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd for his past membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Where does Hagel's 1998 comment rank with those bad acts?


I'll be honest... I don't want Hagel or any Republikkan chosen
But for conversation purposes I throw this out
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Aside from the gay thing. One thing for certain.
This time, when they want to fake up reasons for a war they will have to do a better job than they did with Iraq. EVERYONE knows, or should know, that Bush and Cheney should be in a deep dark prison cell somewhere for the treasonous act that was the Iraq War.

Hagel represents someone with more credibility when they make up reasons to go to war with Iran, North Korea or Pakistan. They know the government war machine needs a good strong dose of credibility this time around. Their hope is, Hagel will provide this credibility.

But no staged false flag event will thoroughly convince the world next time. Bush completely undermined our credibility. The world is watching the U.S. just waiting for the next atrocity.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Bush never convinced the world either.
Those who joined us did not join us because they thought Saddam was about WMD the U.S. or anyone else. They joined because, for whatever reason, their self-interest led them to join us. Blair was even willing to join us, not only in war, but in doctoring intel. Some nations joined us in a very token way.

And some of the countries who didn't join us at all openly mocked us, like Germany and France. I saw a reporter shove a mike in the face of officials from that country--don't remember who, but it was two males--maybe UN Reps, and they actually looked at each other and snickered.

The same kind of thing will happen next time, though countries may shuffle as to which countries and which positions.

Who got convinced last time were the U.S. voters who re-elected Bush. And not even all of them were convinced. They were as much the target of Powell's dog and pony show as any nation in the U.N., probably more so. Powell was chosen to give that speech--and he knew it--because he had a lot of credibility with Americans, not because the rest of the world trusted him. they didn't. That was evident from the composition of the coalition of the willing and how many troops some of them sent.

And the same kind of thing will happen next time. American voters will be the primary reason for which the bs will be dressed up and, whether a Democrat or a Republican is in office, the media will help again. How Hagel will fit into that, if he is still around when the next thing hits the fan, I don't know. Could very well be that his pacific nature is being touted so that we will all know that, if General Powell--I mean, Senator Hagel--says we have to fight, we must really have to. Possible. I just don't know at this point.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-10-13 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Thanks rpannier. I've come across kind of argument. I consider it total bs.
Sadly, that is about all I can about it right now for I have run out of posting time for now and there is so much, I barely know where to begin anyway.

Meanwhile, I am wondering though, what about the material you quoted you considered credible and meriting discussion. I do understand it is another view, but not every defense of homophobic (or racist or genderist or anti-Semitic, etc.) remarks is worth posting for discussion. What made you think that this one was?

Your response may help me focus my response to the material from Greenwald that you quoted. (I am not sure that I am going to undertake to read the entire Greenwald article and the entire Clemons article on which Greenwald seems to rely so much, but I will respond to at least quite a bit of what you quoted).

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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-13 04:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. I consider it credible for discussion because
I agree with idea that given that many were quick to forgive former Klansmen, Democrats who voted for DOMA, voted for deregulation, etc who later admitted it was a mistake why Hagel should not be afforded the same consideration. If people's positions have changed I happen to believe that we should accept their evolution and move on to people (Ben Nelson) who haven't
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-11-13 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm more concerned about Brennan given that Obama and the American public openly support
extrajudicial killings and enhanced interrogation now.

The 180 degree shift in opinion on gay marriage just show how flexible people's worldview is.

You would expect them to be consistent one way or the other... but it's possible to shift the
Overton Window radically in any direction, suggesting that most people really don't have a
moral compass and it's just the "stubborn eccentrics" of the world that stick to their position
until convinced otherwise by something other than popular opinion.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-13 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. There has been no 180 degree shift on gay marriage. Greenwald is full of it.
A majority of states amended their constitutuions--after 1998, I might add (except Hawaii, which did it in 1998) to outlaw gay marriage. In what universe cam Greenwald (or anyone) think that's a whole new, wonderful universe for gay people?

As far as flexibility, gays have endured thousands of years of discrimination before laws even started to change a little. And slaves around the world endured thousands of years of slavery before nations started outlawing it.

And those are only laws. Hearts and minds change even slower. People sell their own kids as sex slaves and there are all kinds of slave rings, including in the U.S., for slavery, sex slaves, domestic "workers," etc.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-13 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
8. Inasmuch as rpannier has not been back, and I have responded to the
specific point that Leo raised, I will defer doing a long response to rpannier's post, with links, unless someone else here thinks Greenwald's statements are credible.

Let me know if you do.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-12-13 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'd be interested in the links
As I said, "It's for conversation purposes." I am ineterested in hearing and reading varying points.
I haven't been on as much recently
Been busy
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-13 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I thought that I had already addressed "conversation purposes" when i responded to
Edited on Mon Jan-14-13 09:47 AM by No Elephants
first post in which you mentioned it?

As I said, "conversation" or "discussion" was too general a statement, not specific. As I also said, not everything is worth posting for purposes of conversation. So I asked what it was in Grenwald's piece that you found worth discussing.

For example, if you had seen a piece written by a Klansman about white supremacy, I doubt you would have posted it on a Democratic board for discussion in response to a post that said, "I don't want a white supremacist nominated in the President's cabinet?" . Some things, we would not even solicit serious discussion about, at least not on a board for Democrats.

So, I was trying to get at what it was specifically about this piece that you found credible, that inspired you to post it.

For instance, do you find credible Greenwalds' claim that the universe has dramatically changed for gay people since 1998? That there has been a sea change on gay marriage.

Do you believe that a decent person who was not homophobic in 1998 would have tried to keep an otherwise eminently qualified gay person from becoming ambassador on the grounds that he is gay? If so, do you believe that someone who would have done that in 1998 somehow is totally different now, or perhaps was never a homoph9bic bigot to begin with?

And so on.

Varying viewpoints doesn't tell me a lot about what I really need to address, eithere. Besides, I had already given my viewpoint in the OP. So, my sense was that you wanted something that Greenwald said addressed.

What consciousness was as to gays in 1998, versus, say 1958, or 2013, the evolution of gay marriage laws and the time of that, etc. all contribute to making addressing Greenwald's claims a big subject.

I really don't want to spend a lot of time addressing things and supporting my statements on on things that are self-evident to everyone. That is why I was trying to elicit specifics from you. Leo raised a specific point about gay marriage above and I addressed it specifically, albeit briefly and without a link, but it is a big subject..

I guess I am asking you please to think about what Greenwald said, about what life was like then for gay people (as best as one can imagine) and for people who were not bigots--and for people who were homophobic bigots, versus what it is like for those three groups today. And what it really takes to change someone who is so bigoted that he had no qualms whatever in 1998 from very publicly acting on that bigotry--as an elected official.

Please also thing about when Hagel made his apology --and to whom (not the guy whose ambaddorship he tried to torpedo, but to the media and only after his hame was floated for Defense and this issue surfaced again).

If after you do that, you find something Greenwald wrote credible, please let me know what and I will discuss that point or those points.

BTW, it is not that I keep handy a pile of links that cover everything Greenwald said. I would write something and then google and find links to support what I claim. First, though, I would like you to narrow my task by being more specific about what it was in Greenwald's piece that you found credible, in light of what you know in your gut and/or the top of your head about the history of consciousness raising about gays, bigots, 1998, marriage laws relating to gays, about human nature, etc.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-13 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. P.S.
In general, I don't have a clue what Greenwald's motives are, given he is a gay man and generally opposes Obama. However, I think his claims are bullshit and I would be very surprised if he didn't know that.

Also, I was not commenting on your not being here. It was more that I did not want to draft something if no one was going to read it.

Equal rights is the number one political issue for me and, as far as laws go, I know of no group beside gays still discriminated against in U.S. laws as to basic rights, like marriage.

And I know of no group that Hagel could have attacked as he did in 1998 and still get nominated to a cabinet post by a President of the opposite major political party. None.

So, I would never intentionally leave claims like Greenwald's unrebutted for all to see. On the other hand, I don't need to rebut things he said if no one finds them credible to begin with. So, again, I am looking for specifics as to what you found credible enough to post and why you thought it credible.
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