Clint Eastwood is still wondering who the Mystery Speaker will be
President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, watch on television as First Lady Michelle Obama takes the stage to deliver her speech at the Democratic National Convention
Via the invaluable Charlie Pierce, we learn that Deval Patrick, Mitt Romney's successor as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (channeling CP: God Save It!), has very helpfully stepped in and filled out that bit of Mitt's resume that his predecessor somehow neglected to mention last week in Tampa:
"I guess the main observation I would make is that (Romney) was a lot more interested in having the job than in doing the job," Patrick said. "We were forty-seventh in the nation in job-creation. Real wages were declining. Our roads and bridges were crumbling. We had a structural deficit that he left behind. Business taxes went up.
"He did one profoundly important thing — really profoundly important, and I say that sincerely — and that's health-care reform, and he makes no mention of that. I can't understand that as anything but some kind of political calculation. The presentation he's making right now is that he was Mr. Fix-it, and I'm telling you, he didn't fix much.
"People ask me all the time what is the real Mitt Romney? Is he a conservative? Is he a moderate? Is he a pragmatist? I think he's an opportunist. I think he does and says things he needs to do and say to win elections and to appeal to the people in front of him."
I love it. Perfect. Kills Romney with his friends, because heaven forfend they should dwell on the fact that his greatest accomplishment was to enact a
socialist-fascist-will-sapping-dependency-inducing-anti-American-wholesale-seizing-of-the-health-care-sector-big-government-tyranny private-sector focused health care bill just like Obama's—except for its superior women's reproductive health provisions. And it does him no favors with everyone else, given that he did, as Deval says, botch the rest of his job.
That line "more interested in having the job than in doing the job" is going to sting too, or should—because it pretty much describes what he'd bring to the presidency. Does anyone here recall any real act Romney has persuaded you he really wants to complete as President?
Sure—he'll loot the place, shifting the tax code in his favor; he'll shower goodies on his friends too. That's how he rolls. But he refuses to say anything detailed about anything he wishes to do—and by detailed I mean anything even a hint more concrete than "We'll create the same number of jobs over the next four years a normal economy would." (via)
And so we get the delightful prospect of seeing Romney portrayed for all to see as the man who nonchalanted his last crack at being a political CEO —and is getting hammererd for it by another guy who has had to pick up after a GOP mess—speaking sometime after 9 tonight, in case you're keeping score at home.
"......So if you were to ask yourself who you'd rather have a beer with, what would be your answer? Would you rather have a beer with the sea of white faces you saw last week, their faces twisted with hate and fear and loathing and resentment; with the speakers who had to resort to demonstrable lies in their lust for power because no one in their right mind would hand the keys back to them if they thought about the truth? Or would you rather have a beer with Deval Patrick, talking about a teacher who didn't just teach kids to memorize the "I Have a Dream" speech but understand what it meant? Would you rather have a beer with what's left of Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair, or would you rather have a beer with Kal Penn, who may very well in four short minutes have energized the youth vote all by himself. ....."
While the Republicans, and more specifically Mitt Romney, continue to serve up fiery chickenhawk rhetoric in regards to attacking Iran, former and current national security officials are speaking out against such an attack with increasing frequency and in no uncertain terms.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey last week
Dempsey said he did not know Iran's nuclear intentions, as intelligence did not reveal intentions. What was clear, he said, was that the "international coalition" applying pressure on Iran "could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely". Sanctions against Iran were having an effect, and they should be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
Former head of the NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden today
Hayden told the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz that Israel may not have the military capacity to take out Iran's nuclear facilities and reiterated his belief that any attack would only delay the Iranian program and perhaps push it toward obtaining nuclear weapons. [...]
Hayden also said there is "still some time" before a decision needs to be made about whether to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, adding that "real decisions are to be made in 2013 or 2014."
If you're going to engage in navel-gazing concerning the foreign and national security policy of the Obama administration, or entertain the idea of not voting in November, you should take into account the fact that President Obama and the Democrats are the only thing standing between us and another war.
Accurate intelligence didn't matter to Republicans the last time they lead us into a war, and it won't matter next time either. And they will not even pause to consider your complaints, your pet issues, or your grievances, whatever they may be. They do not care.
The foreign policy employed by this administration was also advocated by the other candidates during the 2008 Democratic primary, and it will undoubtedly be advocated by the next crop of candidates in 2016 as well. The man currently occupying the White House is the closest thing you have or will ever have to an ally.
President Obama reversed a decades-long slump in public trust in Democrats' ability to handle matters of national security, and he did so while ending a war rather than starting a new one. Matters of national security and foreign policy are now a low-point in polling for Republicans. The issue no longer belongs to them and the world is better off because of it. Or as the president of Ireland recently put it "we've gotten away from this warmongering."
President Obama has done more to advance peace than any other plausible commander in chief would or could have in a single term. And that's an important distinction, because any responsible discussion of the subject should include the plausible alternatives. And I don't mean you should consider what your personal idol and pipe-dream candidate would do, because the chances of them ever becoming president are slim to none. If you're going to tell me President Bernie Sanders or President Dennis Kucinich could do better, I'm going to laugh before reminding you that Sanders voted to keep Guantanamo Bay open.
If Afghanistan reaches its conclusion as planned and we avoid a war with Iran during the president's second term, the foreign policy of this administration will serve as a guide and base of inspiration to future Democrats for a generation.